What is Battery in Florida?
Battery is a very common criminal charge in Florida, but many people do not fully understand what a battery charge means for them. Battery is often confused with assault, and there are many different types of battery charges you may face. Below is a full explanation of the most common battery charges in Florida, and what you should do if you have been charged.
Battery in Florida Defined
Battery is the simple act of striking or touching another person intentionally and without that person’s consent. For example, if you tripped while waiting in line at the grocery store and bumped into the person in front of you, that is not battery. You did not intentionally touch them. On the other hand, if you purposely hit the person in front of you in line, that is considered battery. The victim also does not necessarily have to suffer harm from being struck. To prove battery, the prosecution must only prove:
- You intentionally struck or touched another person against their will, or
- You intentionally caused the victim to suffer bodily harm
Battery and assault are also different crimes, although the two are often linked. Assault is the threat, either through words or actions, that cause a person to fear bodily harm.
Types of Battery
There are many types of battery charges in Florida. The most common of these are as follows:
- Simple or domestic violence battery: These are different offenses, but they are both considered misdemeanor offenses of the first degree. The difference is that for a domestic violence battery charge to apply, you must have an adult familial or romantic relationship with the victim. If convicted, you may face up to one year in county jail and a maximum fine of $1,000.
- Battery prior offense: If you have a prior battery offense, regardless of the degree of that prior offense, you will face an enhanced charge of battery prior offense. If convicted of this third degree felony, you may spend up to five years in prison and have to pay a maximum $5,000 fine. A prior offense does not always require a conviction, such as if you received a withhold of adjudication for battery in the past.
- Battery on person over 65: The only difference between battery on a person over 65 and simple or domestic violence battery is that the victim is over the age of 65. This too, is a third degree felony. It does not matter if you knew the victim was over the age of 65, and the prosecution does not have to prove it.
While the penalties for the above offenses are serious, there are defenses available for all of them. It is important to speak to a criminal defense lawyer that can advise on what those are.
Call Our Criminal Defense Lawyers in Florida Today
If you have been charged with battery, it is important to call a Port St. Lucie criminal defense lawyer that can help you beat the charges. At Eighmie Law Firm, P.A., our knowledgeable attorneys can advise on your case and give you the best chance of a successful outcome. Call us today at 772-905-8692 or fill out our online form to schedule a consultation.