Battery Charges in Pinellas County
Have an Experienced St. Petersburg / Clearwater Criminal Defense Lawyer on Your Side
The charge of Battery is very common in Florida. This is because the statute prohibits the “unwanted touching or striking of another.” Many people are surprised to learn that there is no requirement that the State prove the “victim” was injured or that the force used was substantial. As a matter of fact, a simple push, shove, poke, or slap is sufficient to permit law enforcement to make an arrest.
TYPES OF BATTERY OFFENSES
The seriousness of a Battery charge depends on a number of factors. These include the age of the victim, the prior record of the accused, the extent of the injury, whether the victim was pregnant at the time of the incident, and whether a weapon was used. Common battery offenses in Florida are:
- Misdemeanor Battery – Unwanted touching where the accused has no prior battery convictions, no weapon was used, victim was between the ages of 18 and 64, and the victim was not pregnant. Misdemeanor Battery is a 1st degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 1 year in the county jail.
- Felony Battery – The same elements of a misdemeanor battery but where the accused has at least one prior plea to a battery offense. Felony battery is a 3rd degree felony and punishable by up to 5 years in State Prison.
- Battery on a Person 65 Years of Age or Older – If an individual is accused of committing a battery on a victim who is 65 years of age or older, the offense is enhanced to a 3rd degree felony. This is true regardless of the age of the accused. This offense is punishable by up to 5 years in State Prison.
- Aggravated Battery – A battery in which the accused knowingly causes great bodily harm, permanent disability or permanent disfigurement, OR a battery where the accused uses a deadly weapon, OR a battery where the victim was pregnant at the time of the offense and the accused knew or should have known that the victim was pregnant. An Aggravated Battery is classified as a second degree felony and is punishable by up to 15 years in state prison.
Domestic Battery cases are made more complex by the fact that Florida law states a “preferred arrest policy” for situations where a domestic situation boils into a physical confrontation, no matter how brief or minor. Following the arrest, the prosecutor’s office has been directed by the Florida Legislature to adopt a “pro-prosecution” policy and to assign these cases to specialized and experienced prosecutors. As a result, many people who called the police for the purposes of “calming things down” or having their spouse or loved one “sleep at a friend’s house tonight” find themselves entangled in the court system that looks at the matter as criminal in nature and not a private matter
Common Questions in Battery and Domestic Battery Cases
- What if the victim doesn’t want to prosecute?
- Can the victim provide a statement that supplements or corrects what they told the police?
- How can I get the No Contact Order lifted?
- What if I was acting in self-defense?
- How does the lack of injury affect the case?
- What can I do right now in order to better my chances in court?
If you have been charged with Battery or Domestic Battery, our office can help. We are experienced criminal defense attorneys who served as former state prosecutors. We understand how the system works and can help you during this stressful and challenging time. Call our office for a free consultation at (727) 578-0303