FELONY BATTERY PURSUANT TO FLORIDA STATUTE 784.03
TAMPA ATTORNEY HELPING PEOPLE FACING PROSECUTION FOR VIOLENT CRIMES
People get into fights for many different reasons. Sometimes the fight is mutual, but only one person gets into trouble with the police. At other times, there is serious and purposeful provocation by an aggressor, but after being hurt, the aggressor turns around and blames the other person. There are several different types and degrees of battery, and some charges are punished harshly. Felony battery pursuant to Florida Statute section 784.03 is taken seriously by prosecutors. If you face this charge, you should contact Tampa battery defense lawyer Will Hanlon at Hanlon Law. He is a criminal defense attorney who is committed to protecting the rights of the accused and understands all of the available defense strategies.
FELONY BATTERY CHARGES IN FLORIDA
Under Florida Statute section 784.03(1)(a), battery can be charged if you actually and intentionally touch or hit somebody else against their will and intentionally harm the other person. Each of these elements must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, a very high standard of proof. If the prosecutor fails to prove even one of these elements, the charge will fail. For example, if you strike another person in a barroom brawl, but they have no injuries, you have a strong defense against the charge of felony battery, although you may still face a battery charge.
Felony battery is a third-degree felony that can be punished with a maximum of five years’ imprisonment, probation for five years, and a fine of $5,000. Unless there is a basis for a downward departure, the judge must sentence you to a minimum of 19-36 months in prison if you are convicted of felony battery, and there is a chance that you will face a sentence of the maximum five years.
In some cases, it is possible to argue that you did not intentionally harm the other person and negotiate a plea deal for battery. Somebody who is convicted of battery but who did not intentionally harm the other person will still have a first-degree misdemeanor on their criminal record, but they will not go to prison. A conviction includes any determination of guilt that is a result of a plea or trial, regardless of whether you get adjudication withheld or enter a plea of nolo contendere.
Many people get into bar fights or other types of fights repeatedly. If you have even one prior conviction for battery, aggravated battery, or felony battery on your record, and you commit another battery, you can be penalized for a third-degree felony.
You should never assume that you are going to prison. When you have a skillful criminal defense attorney on your side from the very start, they may be able to use strong defense strategies on your behalf. Common defenses include self-defense, no intent, consent, and mutual combat. Self-defense is considered a justified use of force to defend yourself from someone else’s unlawful attack on your person. The use of force should have been proportionate to the situation. For example, if someone shoves you in a bar, it would not be self-defense to pull out a gun and pistol-whip that person. Lack of intent is also a strong defense; in some cases, for example, people lose their temper and throw something in a momentary loss of control. If it hits someone else, there is not a specific intent to hurt that person.
SEEK GUIDANCE FROM A BATTERY DEFENSE LAWYER IN THE TAMPA AREA
Felony battery under Florida Statute section 784.03 is taken very seriously. It is important to have an experienced attorney on your side as early as possible in the process. The prosecutor will learn a police officer’s version of what happened when deciding whether to pursue charges, but it can affect a prosecutor’s decision about whether to pursue charges to hear your side of the story early in the process as well. Our founder, Tampa attorney Will Hanlon, has provided a strong, aggressive defense to people accused of crimes such as felony battery since 1994. He strives to provide responsive and personalized representation to clients. Call Hanlon Law at 813-228-7095 or use our online form to set up an appointment if you need a domestic battery lawyer or assistance in fighting other battery charges.