In Sarasota, being charged with felony battery can be a life-altering event, one that comes with potential long-term consequences. Battery, especially when elevated to a felony level, is taken very seriously by the legal system, and the outcomes can be daunting. More often than not, these charges arise from situations that are not black and white. Many incidents of alleged battery involve elements of misunderstanding or even self-defense. Given the complexities of assault and battery cases, having the right representation is paramount.
Facing a felony battery charge? You don’t have to navigate the legal maze alone. At The Law Place, our experienced Sarasota criminal defense lawyers stand ready to advocate on your behalf. Whether you believe you acted in self-defense, or you think there’s more to the story than what’s been presented, we’re here to listen, guide, and fiercely defend your rights. Act now and ensure that you have a seasoned attorney by your side. Reach out to The Law Place today for a free consultation and let us stand with you in your time of need.
Florida Law and Battery Crimes
Under Florida Statutes, Section 784.041, the crime of Felony Battery includes intentionally touching or striking another person, resulting in great bodily harm. You could also be charged with Felony Battery if you are being charged after a prior conviction for the crime of Battery. Felony Battery is a third-degree felony in the state of Florida, and, unlike Aggravated Battery, does not require intent to cause great bodily harm. The main difference between the crimes of Misdemeanor Battery, Aggravated Battery and Felony Battery lies in the level of harm sustained by the victim.
No injury is necessary for you to be charged with Misdemeanor Battery. However, before Felony Battery can be charged (unless you have a prior conviction for battery), you must have inflicted significant injury on another person. As an example, if you shove another person, resulting in that person falling down, but sustaining no real, lasting injury, you would probably be charged with Misdemeanor Battery. If, however, in shoving the person you caused him or her to break a bone, then you might be charged with Felony Battery.
Penalties for a Conviction of Felony Battery
In order to prove your guilt, the prosecutor must show you intentionally touched or struck the alleged victim against his or her will, and, in doing so, caused great bodily harm, permanent disfigurement, or permanent disability to the person. If you are convicted of Felony Battery, you could face the following penalties:
- Fines as large as $5,000
- Up to five years of probation
- Up to five years in prison
- Restitution to the victim
- Community service
- Substance abuse evaluation and treatment
- Psychological evaluation and treatment
- Other counseling, and
- In the case of Domestic Violence Battery, you could be required to complete a 26-29 week Batterer’s Intervention Program
Felony Battery Defenses
While your exact defense will depend on the circumstances surrounding your charges, as well as whether you have a prior criminal record, your Florida criminal defense attorney may use one of the following defenses on your behalf:
- You were defending yourself
- You were defending another person
- There are factual disputes regarding how the incident occurred
- You are innocent, and are being accused by a vindictive person
- The injuries to the alleged victim do not rise to the level of great bodily harm, or
- The altercation could be considered mutual combat
Because there are so many potential defenses to the crime of Felony Battery, it is essential you contact an experienced Florida criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Do not even consider pleading guilty to the crime until you have spoken to an attorney from The Law Place. A guilty plea could result in a conviction for the crime, which, in turn, will result in the following:
- Removal of your firearm privileges
- Removal of your right to run for office
- Removal of your right to vote
- An inability to obtain employment
- An inability to obtain a professional license
- An inability to return to college on a governmental student loan, and
- An inability to successfully rent a home
Sarasota felony battery lawyer FAQ
What distinguishes a simple battery from an aggravated assault or battery in Sarasota?
Simple battery involves intentional and unwanted physical contact with another person. Aggravated assault, on the other hand, is an intentional threat by word or act to cause violence, coupled with the apparent ability to do so, and includes the use of a deadly weapon. Aggravated battery involves intentionally causing great bodily harm or using a deadly weapon.
How is domestic battery different from other forms of battery in Sarasota?
Domestic battery specifically refers to intentional and unwanted physical contact between family or household members. This can involve spouses, ex-spouses, siblings, or individuals living as a family.
If I’m accused of battery but believe I acted in self defense, what should I do?
If you believe your actions were out of self-defense, it’s crucial to consult with an assault and battery lawyer immediately. They can help understand the specifics of your situation and build a strong defense based on the principle of self-defense.
Can a battery charge be reduced to a first degree misdemeanor or dismissed entirely?
Yes, depending on the circumstances of the case and the evidence presented, a battery charge could potentially be reduced to a first degree misdemeanor or even dismissed. An experienced assault battery attorney can help in negotiating with the prosecution or presenting a strong defense in court.
What potential consequences can arise from a battery charge involving the use of a deadly weapon?
Using a deadly weapon in a battery case can elevate the charge, leading to more severe penalties, including longer jail or prison time, higher fines, and probation.
How important is it to have an attorney if charged with battery in Sarasota?
Given the complexities of battery sarasota assault cases and the potential life-changing consequences, it’s crucial to have knowledgeable representation. An experienced assault and battery lawyer will be invaluable in guiding you through the legal process and ensuring your rights are upheld.
Can someone be charged with battery even if there’s no visible injury on the alleged victim?
Yes, a battery charge doesn’t necessarily require visible injuries. The mere intentional and unwanted physical contact can lead to a battery charge.
What’s the difference between assault and battery?
While often used interchangeably, assault refers to the threat of harm, while battery involves actual physical contact. An assault becomes an assault battery when the threat is carried out through physical contact.
Call The Law Place for Experienced Criminal Attorneys
Having a Sarasota criminal defense attorney from The Law Place by your side ensures your rights will be protected from start to finish. We will work hard on your behalf, first to seek a dismissal of your charges, or a reduction of the charges. If you are convicted, we will work to negotiate a lesser sentence than you would otherwise face. We want you to experience the very least amount of penalties and consequences as a result of your Felony Battery charges, and we want to be the advocate in your corner. Contact a criminal attorney from The Law Place today by calling 941-444-4444.