Understanding Aggravated Battery in Florida

A charge of aggravated battery in Florida can bring severe consequences if there is a conviction. When someone is facing this type of criminal charge, understanding the legal meaning and working with a criminal defense attorney is vital to their future.

What is Aggravated Battery in Florida?

Aggravated battery in Florida is defined under the Florida Statute, Section 784.045. The state uses very specific verbiage in its definition. Aggravated battery occurs when a defendant intentionally strikes or touches another person, and due to their actions:

  • Intentionally or knowingly causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement; or

  • Uses a deadly weapon; or

  • Commits battery upon a person who the defendant knew or should have known was pregnant

If the defendant is convicted of aggravated battery, the Florida Statute states that it would be a second-degree felony.

Aggravated battery is different from aggravated assault in that a charge of assault does not require that the defendant acted with an intention to injure the other person but that the intention was to cause the victim to fear an immediate attack. An example of this is when a person aims a gun at another person in an attempt to scare her or him.


How Serious is Aggravated Battery in Florida?

When someone is convicted of a felony, the consequences are harsh. The serious penalties will depend on the particular details of the case and whether or not the defendant has an experienced criminal defense attorney.

The penalties for a conviction of aggravated battery in Florida include:

  • Up to 15 years in prison

  • Up to 15 years of probation

  • Up to $15,000 in fines

There are also additional penalties for aggravated battery when the offense includes the possession or discharge of a firearm. These include minimum mandatory sentences for incidences that involve:

  • Firearm possession: 10 years of imprisonment

  • Machine gun or semiautomatic weapon possession: 15 years of imprisonment

  • Firearm discharge: 20 years of imprisonment

  • Firearm discharge resulting in great bodily harm or death: 25 years of imprisonment

Aggravated battery with a deadly weapon in Florida is a particularly serious offense. Note that these sentences listed above are minimum penalties. Depending on what occurred during the offense, if the defendant is convicted, the penalties can be greater.


Proving Aggravated Battery

Brass knuckles on a fistThe prosecution must prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. There are two elements to proving aggravated battery in Florida.

First, the prosecution must prove that the defendant intentionally inflicted bodily harm to the alleged victim or struck or touched the alleged victim against her or his will. Second, the prosecution must prove that the actions of the defendant during the aggravated battery, intentionally or knowingly:

  • Caused great bodily harm, or

  • Caused permanent disability, or

  • Caused permanent disfigurement, or

  • Used a deadly weapon

The proof of these two elements lies solely with the prosecution. A criminal defense attorney leads as the defendant’s legal advocate during the trial, provides an aggressive defense to the prosecution’s efforts, and fights for the rights of their clients for a fair trial.


Defenses to Aggravated Battery

Person holding prisons barsThere are a number of defenses that a criminal defense attorney in Clearwater can use in a case of aggravated battery. Although each case is different. The particulars of the case will matter. An attorney may utilize one of the following as a defense:

  • Lack of intent to touch or strike

  • Lack of intent to cause great bodily harm, disability, or disfigurement

  • Alibi

  • Self-Defense

  • Defense of Others

  • Stand Your Ground

  • Consent or Mutual Combat

  • The object or instrument used during the incident is not considered a “deadly weapon” according to the definition in the Florida statute.

The criminal defense attorney will examine the details of what happened before, during, and after the incident occurred to determine the most appropriate defense strategy for the specific case.


The Importance of an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney

The consequences of a conviction of aggravated battery or aggravated battery with a deadly weapon in Florida are severe and long-lasting. A person could be facing many years in prison and very high fines. These penalties wreak havoc on the defendant’s life, family, and job long into the future.

An experienced criminal defense attorney has the knowledge, skills, and abilities to advocate on behalf of a defendant. They understand the complexities of the law and the justice system in Florida. They have highly valuable experience in and out of the courtroom to give clients the best possible defense when facing serious charges that have the ability to permanently change lives.

Every defendant has the right to an attorney, regardless of what happened that led to a charge of aggravated battery. Depending on the circumstances, your defense attorney may be able to persuade the prosecutor that a felony charge is a misrepresentation of the events and that the charge should be reduced to a misdemeanor. This can make a huge difference in the penalties, including any potential time served, probation parameters, and related fines.

With an experienced attorney, defendants have a legal expert who will fight for them to get the best possible results. It is important not to delay contacting an attorney.


Contact the Law Office of Dean Tsourakis Today

If you or someone you know is facing aggravated battery charges or other criminal charges, contact the law office of Dean Tsourakis today to set up a free consultation to discuss the details of the case. He can help you put your life back together when it feels like everything is falling apart.

Dean Tsourakis is a highly experienced criminal defense attorney in Clearwater and has been a dedicated advocate for justice for many years. He has tried hundreds of cases over his career, including aggravated battery, DUI, drug offenses, and others. When facing criminal charges, a defendant has the right to get the best criminal trial attorney for their case.

Contact the law office of Dean Tsourakis today at 727-785-2700 to schedule an appointment or simply fill out our form online.