When you touch or strike another person against his or her will, and that intentional touch or strike leads to the person’s bodily harm, you have, under Florida Statute, Section 784.03, committed the crime of Battery. If, when you touched or struck the other person, you did not use a weapon, or this is not a case of domestic violence, then you have committed simple or misdemeanor battery.
It is important to remember that intent is a required element of the charge of battery in the state of Florida. You must have committed a voluntary act, knowing that act would likely result in a strike or touch. This means that if you accidentally touch another person, and that touch is incidental to other contact (you were not attempting to make contact with that person) then you have not committed the crime of battery.
There does not necessarily need to be an injury to the victim to uphold charges of battery, rather only that you touched the other person against his or her will. There also does not necessarily need to be actual touching of the person’s body, rather it can be touching of “something intimately connected with the victim’s body.”
Common examples of something intimately connected to a person, include a cell phone or other electronic device, clothing, keys, purses, wallets, handbags or other items being held by the alleged victim. You could even throw an item at another person and be charged with battery, since direct contact is not a requirement of the crime.
Penalties Associated with Battery
If you are charged with the crime of Battery, you are facing a first-degree misdemeanor. If convicted, you could face the following penalties:
- Twelve months of probation
- Up to twelve months in Florida county jail, and/or
- A maximum fine of $1,000
Whether you receive a jail sentence if convicted of Battery will depend on a number of issues, including whether you have a prior criminal record, the existence or extent of the alleged victim’s injuries, the strength of the prosecutor’s case, the status and preferences of the alleged victim, and whether you are strongly represented by a Florida criminal defense attorney.
Potential Defenses Used for Your Charges of Battery
The defense your attorney will use on your behalf will depend on many different issues including the facts surrounding your case. However, one or more of the following defenses may be appropriate in your case:
- The alleged victim consented to being touched
- The alleged victim and you were engaged in mutual combat
- You were acting in self-defense
- You were acting in defense of another person
- You were acting in defense of your property
- The touching was purely accidental
- There is a lack of evidence showing you touched the alleged victim
- The touching occurred, however it was incidental to other conduct, or
- There was a lack of intent on your part
Call The Law Place for Experienced Criminal Attorneys
At The Law Place, our criminal attorneys are committed to aggressively defending our clients who face battery charges. When possible we will work hard to have the charges dismissed or reduced. However, if the prosecutor insists on prosecution, we will pursue every available legal defense on your behalf with a goal of minimizing the potential penalties. Contact a criminal attorney from The Law Place today by calling 941-444-4444.