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Simply touching another person without their permission and in an offensive manner might be considered battery. Even striking something that another person is holding or that is attached to them might be enough for a battery charge. For example, snatching or knocking an object out of someone’s hand can be considered battery.

Florida law provides for several different types of battery crimes each with their own elements that must be proven at trial. A battery is charged as a first-degree misdemeanor.

Aggravated battery may involve battery with the use of a deadly weapon, or a battery upon a person with a special status. Crimes for hitting a person with an object that could cause serious harm, or striking a pregnant person or a government official can be charged as an aggravated battery.

Lawyer for Battery Crimes in Pensacola, Florida

John Terrezza represents clients charged with violent crimes including assault and battery crimes in Pensacola in Escambia County and Milton in Santa Rosa County, FL.

If you or someone you know has, unfortunately, been charged with a violent crime, call John Terrezza at Terrezza Law. During the initial consultation, you can talk with the attorney about the facts of your case, potential defenses, and any penalties that might apply. 

Charges for Misdemeanor Battery provided in Florida Statute §784.03

Battery is charged when a person causes bodily harm to another by, actually and intentionally, striking or touching that person against his or her will. If the defendant is charged with battery for the first time, then the charge is typically a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and up to a $1,000 fine.

A person who commits a battery and who has a prior conviction for battery or aggravated battery can be charged with felony battery which is a third-degree felony. 

A third-degree felony is punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

Elements of Aggravated Battery in Section 784.045

Misdemeanor Battery rises to the level of Aggravated Battery when the person committing the battery does one or more of the following: 

  1.  uses a deadly weapon, or
  2.  intentionally or knowingly causes permanent disability, permanent disfigurement, or great bodily harm.

The Florida Jury Instructions define “deadly weapon” as a weapon that could kill or cause serious bodily harm or disfigurement. The most common examples of deadly weapons include:

A person also commits aggravated battery if the victim was pregnant at the time of the offense and the defendant knew or should have known that the victim was pregnant.

Aggravated Battery is a second-degree felony under Florida law, and the punishment may be up to 15 years in prison, or $10,000.

Felony Battery Defined in Florida Statute §784.041

The elements of Felony Battery are very similar to aggravated battery. However, they are charged differently under Florida law. To prove Felony Battery, the prosecutor must show the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. the defendant struck or touched another person intentionally or knowingly, and
  2. the defendant intentionally caused great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement, or  
  3. the defendant committed domestic battery by strangulation.

When a person is convicted of felony battery, or domestic battery by strangulation is charged with a third-degree felony. Third-degree felonies are punishable by up to five (5) years in jail and a $5,000 fines.

Special Victims Battery is Reclassified in Florida under Statute §784.07.

Similar to that in Assault, a battery has reclassification consequences when the battery is committed against certain “special” victims. In Florida, the following individuals are considered “special victims:”

Reclassified Sentencing for Battery

If the defendant is convicted of battery against a special victim, his or her punishment is enhanced as follows:

If the "special victim" of aggravated battery is a law enforcement officer, the defendant is charged with a mandatory minimum of five years.

Defenses to Battery Crimes in Florida

The defenses available to a person charged with battery are (1) self-defense, (2) defense of others, (3) consent, or (4) lack of intent.

Additional Resources

Florida Statute §784.03 - Visit the Online Sunshine website of the Florida State Legislature to find the Florida Statute for Battery, Aggravated Battery, and related offenses.

Assault and Battery Attorney in Santa Rosa, County, Florida

If you were arrested for criminal battery charges in Pensacola in Escambia County or Milton in Santa Rose County, FL, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney.

With offices in Pensacola in Escambia County, John Terrezza can help you fight the charges aggressively. John Terrezza is a Florida native who will fight to lessen your charges and give you the best defense possible.

This page was last updated on Friday, December 9, 2016.