The crime of Battery can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony depending upon the specific facts and circumstances of a particular case.What is the Legal Definition of Battery?
The crime of Battery occurs when a person touches or strikes another person without that person's permission or consent. According to the way the law is written, a Battery can occur if one person simply touches another person without permission. Generally speaking, law enforcement will not arrest for an unconsented touch or tap, but they will arrest for a push or shove, especially if the victim wants to pursue charges against the Defendant.Can I be Arrested for Battery Even if the Victim Doesn’t Have any Injuries, Marks, or Bruises?
Yes. Many people mistakenly believe that law enforcement must witness some type of injury or mark on the victim in order to have probable cause to arrest. This is simply untrue. I have defended numerous clients arrested and charged with Battery under circumstances in which there were absolutely no signs of injury to the victim. Assuming that there were no witnesses to the alleged crime, it becomes the victim’s word against the defendant’s. These types of cases are very difficult for the prosecutor to prove in court, which is why I am often able to get the charges dismissed or reduced to a non-violent offense under these circumstances.Can Battery Ever be Charged as a Felony?
Yes. Under certain circumstances, a Defendant may be charged with a felony, which is why I consider Battery to be a hybrid crime, because it can be charged as either a felony or misdemeanor. What is Felony Battery? If a person has a prior conviction for Battery and is arrested for Battery again, then that person can be charged with Felony Battery, even though the new arrest is only for a misdemeanor. The prosecutor can under these circumstances “upgrade” the new misdemeanor to Felony Battery, which is a third degree felony punishable by up to five years on prison and not more than a $5,000.00 fine.What is Aggravated Battery?
A person may be charged with Aggravated Battery if, in the course of committing a Battery, the Defendant caused great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement. The statute creates a significant distinction between those situations in which a Defendant does not create serious bodily harm (misdemeanor Battery) and situations in which there is serious bodily harm or some type of permanent injury (Aggravated Battery). Another way in which a person commits Aggravated Battery is if, in committing the Battery, the Defendant used a deadly weapon. Aggravated Battery is a very serious crime. It is classified as a second degree felony, which makes it punishable by up to 15 years on prison.What Other Situations Exist in Which a Misdemeanor Battery can be Upgraded to a Felony?
If the victim is considered a “special victim” then the prosecutor case may upgrade the charge to a felony. The most common examples of this are those cases which involve a victim who is either pregnant, someone over the age of 65, a law enforcement or firefighter, or emergency medical care provider. It is important to understand that you will be charged with a felony if the victim falls into any of the above categories, even if you did not use a weapon, cause serious bodily injury, or some type of permanent disability.What is the Difference Between Battery and Battery Domestic Violence?
I have dedicated a separate page to domestic violence and charges related to domestic violence. Briefly though, a person can be arrested for Battery Domestic if the victim is considered a ‘family or household member’ under Florida Statute 741.28. For more information on domestic violence charges, please visit by domestic violence page.
If you or a friend or family member were arrested for any type of Battery charge, including simple Battery, Felony Battery, Aggravated Battery, Battery by Strangulation, or Domestic Violence Battery, regardless of whether the crime allegedly occurred in Melbourne, Palm Bay, Cocoa, Cocoa Beach, Merritt Island, Titusville, Rockledge, Cape Canaveral, Satellite Beach, Indian Harbour Beach, West Melbourne, Melbourne Village, Melbourne Beach, Indialantic, Palm Shores, Grant-Valkaria, Mims, or anywhere else in Brevard County, Florida, Contact me to immediately schedule your free consultation.