While many people use the phrase “assault and battery,” these are two separate charges in Florida. Assault occurs when someone threatens harm but does not physically touch the alleged victim. However, violent or even unwanted touching can result in a battery charge. Whether you are charged with battery, felony battery, or aggravated battery, the sentence can be severe if convicted.
Battery cases are rarely cut and dried, so a thorough investigation is needed. You also need one-on-one support during this time to ensure proper representation. As a sole practitioner, you will have Ronald S. Chapman’s undivided attention as he thoroughly investigates your case. He has over 30 years of experience defending clients in Florida’s court system, so reach out to schedule a consultation with our West Palm Beach battery defense lawyer today.
Your battery defense attorney in West Palm Beach will review the evidence before developing a defense strategy. Possible defenses include:
- You were protecting yourself from bodily harm.
- You were defending someone else.
- You did not mean to use force.
- The alleged victim consented.
- The prosecution does not have evidence to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt.
Battery is a first-degree misdemeanor. You can face this charge if the state alleges that you intentionally struck or touched another person against that person’s will or intentionally caused bodily harm to another person. This charge does not have aggravating factors, such as using a deadly weapon or causing serious bodily injury.
Unfortunately, some people think batter is not serious since it is a misdemeanor charge. However, you face up to one year in jail or probation along with a monetary fine. Thus, consult with a West Palm Beach battery lawyer to defend your case. Your attorney can explore pre-trial remedies to reduce or dismiss the charges or present your case in court.
You can also be charged with felony battery or aggravated battery. As a third-degree felony, felony battery is the less serious of the two. The prosecution must demonstrate that you caused significant harm to another person. For instance, if you push someone down to the ground causing a broken bone, you can get a felony battery charge.
Aggravated battery is a second-degree felony, making it the most serious of the offenses. In this instance, the prosecution must prove that you intentionally struck another person without his or her consent. Additionally, the action must have caused permanent disfigurement, great bodily harm, or permanent disability. Finally, the state can charge you with this if there are other aggravating factors, such as using a weapon or injuring a pregnant person.
A felony conviction comes with stiff penalties, including time in prison, probation, and fines. Fortunately, you can fight the charges with help from a West Palm Beach battery lawyer.