Aggravated Battery Causing Great Bodily Harm with a Deadly Weapon
Florida courts take aggravated battery accusations seriously. Perhaps the most serious of these charges involves harming someone physically while also using a firearm or another deadly weapon. If you are charged with aggravated battery causing great bodily harm with a deadly weapon, you need a very experienced, skillful Tampa aggravated battery lawyer. At Hanlon Law, we understand how important your freedom is to you, and we are dedicated to protecting the rights of the accused. There are different defense strategies that may be appropriate to your situation.Aggravated Battery Causing Great Bodily Harm Involving a Deadly Weapon
Battery on its own is a misdemeanor. However, there are certain situations in which aggravated battery may be charged, and these are considered much more serious charges because you face the possibility of time in prison and substantial fines.
A prosecutor can obtain a conviction for aggravated battery under Florida Statutes section 784.045 if they prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed battery against someone else while intending to cause great bodily harm, permanent disfigurement, or permanent disability, that you used a deadly weapon in the battery, or that you committed a battery against a pregnant woman.
Generally, when great bodily harm occurs, or the battery involves a pregnant victim, you can be charged with a second-degree felony. The judge can sentence you to a maximum of 15 years in prison. For example, if you are found to have pushed a pregnant woman down, you could be charged with a second-degree felony. Similarly, if you get in a drunken brawl, and the other person ends up with a huge scar across his face because he fell into some broken glass, you could be charged with a second-degree felony.
However, if you use a deadly weapon and also cause great bodily harm, the prosecutor can pursue first-degree felony charges. The maximum sentence for this offense is 30 years in prison. For example, if you are angry with your neighbor about something, take out a shotgun, and shoot him in the arm, you could be charged with first-degree felony aggravated battery. Similarly, if you developed road rage and purposely chased and drove into another car that cut you off, resulting in the other driver's paralysis, you could be charged with a first-degree felony.
Generally, a very experienced prosecutor will handle aggravated battery charges. This is one reason why it is important to retain a criminal defense attorney who is equally experienced. Common defenses that you may be able to raise include self-defense, defense of others, defense of property, stand your ground, mutual combat, insufficient evidence, credibility issues, or factual issues about how the incident happened that raise a reasonable doubt.
You can raise a stand your ground defense under Florida Statutes section 776.012. This defense states that you were justified in using deadly force and had no duty to retreat if you reasonably believed that force was needed to stop imminent, serious bodily harm to yourself, to stop a forcible felony, or to protect yourself in connection with a home or car invasion. For example, if a burglar breaks into your house and attempts to rape you, you could be justified in shooting the burglar even if it caused him to be disfigured or permanently disabled.
In some cases, the person whom the prosecutor believes was the victim of the aggravated battery started the fight. For example, perhaps he provoked you by calling you racial slurs while punching you. You happened to have a glass bottle and struck him in self-defense, and in the process, he developed cuts that led to scars or disfigurement. You may be able to raise a self-defense argument in this situation.Contact a Battery Defense Lawyer in Tampa or Surrounding Areas
A conviction for aggravated battery causing great bodily harm with a deadly weapon is punished harshly. It is important to have an experienced attorney on your side early in the process, even before a charge is brought if possible. Our founder, Tampa attorney Will Hanlon, has provided a strong, aggressive defense to people accused of crimes such as aggravated battery since 1994. He strives to give his clients responsive and personalized representation. Call Hanlon Law at 813-228-7095 or use our online form to set up an appointment with a gun crime lawyer.