When most people think of battery they picture punching and kicking resulting in bruising, bleeding, and broken bones. However, it can be as simple as poking someone or spitting on them. To convict someone of battery the State only needs to show an intentional unwanted touching of another. Therefore, a battery can be proven despite a lack of injury or even a lack of violence.
Many people falsely believe that if a victim declines to prosecute, the State will drop the charge. This is not always the case because the State of Florida is bringing the charge, not the victim. The State is more reluctant to drop the charge if the case involves domestic violence. They may even go to trial with an uncooperative victim depending on the facts of the case.
There are over 15 ways a battery can be charged as a felony in Florida. These charging enhancements greatly increase the exposure to jail time and probation. If the battery is serious enough, the penalty will be mandatory prison despite a lack of criminal history.
There are several different types of battery, including:
Domestic Violence is defined by Florida Statute 741.28. Domestic Violence means any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another family or household member. The battery will likely be prosecuted by a special domestic violence unit. Under Florida Statute, people convicted of domestic violence must complete the Batterer’s Intervention Program, a full year of probation, and any other sanctions ordered by the judge.
If you are convicted of battery, a judge can impose any combination of the following penalties:
If you are convicted of domestic violence battery, the judge will impose a mandatory Batter’s Intervention Program.
If you are convicted of felony battery or domestic battery by strangulation, a judge can impose any combination of the following penalties:
If you are convicted of aggravated battery or aggravated battery on a pregnant person, a judge can impose any combination of the following penalties:
Some common defenses to battery offenses are as follows:
As a state prosecutor, Attorney Brandon Gans conducted numerous battery jury trials. He understands the special issues that arise during these trials and now uses that knowledge to defend the accused.