Serious Criminal Penalties Of Aggravated Battery In Florida
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Aggravated battery is a criminal charge in Florida that is often levied against individuals who have committed a violent act. The penalties for a conviction of aggravated battery can be severe, and it is essential to understand the potential consequences of being convicted of this crime. This article will provide an overview of the charges and potential penalties associated with aggravated battery in Florida.
What You Should Know About Aggravated Battery
Under Florida law, it is defined as a person:
- Intentionally causing great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement;
- Using a deadly weapon; or
- Committing battery against a pregnant woman.
The first two types of aggravated battery are self-explanatory. The third type, which is often referred to as “fetal battery,” occurs when a person commits battery against a pregnant woman and causes the termination of her pregnancy.
To be convicted of aggravated battery, the prosecutor must prove that the defendant intended to commit the act and that the victim suffered serious injuries due to the attack.
Aggravated Battery – A Second Degree Felony
This crime is considered a second-degree felony in Florida. It means that if you are convicted of this crime, you could face up to 15 years in jail, 15 years on probation, and a fine of up to $15,000. However, the penalties for an aggravated battery can be increased in certain circumstances. For example, if the victim was a law enforcement officer, the penalties would be enhanced. Additionally, if the defendant has a prior conviction for battery, aggravated assault, or a similar crime, the penalties may be increased.
Individuals who are convicted of an aggravated battery may also face civil liability. This means that the victim of the attack could file a personal injury lawsuit against the defendant to recover damages.
There are further mandatory minimum penalties that apply if a firearm was present at the time of the crime:
- Ten (10) years in jail for possessing a firearm
- Fifteen (15) years in jail for having a machine gun or semiautomatic weapon
- Twenty (20) years in jail for discharging a firearm
- Twenty-five (25) years in jail for discharging a firearm that seriously injured or killed someone
Here, it’s important to stress that these are the minimum punishments for these crimes. Depending on the specific situation, the actual sentence can be substantially lengthier.
The Consequences of a Conviction are Life-Altering
A conviction of aggravated battery can have a significant impact on your life. In addition to the potential prison sentence, you will also have a felony conviction on your record. Finding a job, housing, and obtaining a professional license can make it difficult. You may also lose your right to vote and possess a firearm.
Why the Penalties are So Severe
Of course, aggravated battery is considered a violent offense. When a person is convicted of this crime, it is generally seen as an indication that they are a danger to society. They can also be viewed as someone more likely to reoffend. Many times, the victims of these crimes are left with serious physical and emotional injuries. It’s important to remember that the aggravated battery penalties can be even more severe if the victim dies as a result of the attack.
As such, the court system takes a very dim view of these types of crimes and punishes them accordingly. They have set the penalties at a level that they believe will both punish the offender and serve as a deterrent to others. This way, they hope to protect the citizens of Florida from becoming victims of these crimes. Justice is not always easy to obtain, but the court system does its best to balance the scales.
Defenses Against Aggravated Battery Charges
If you have been charged with aggravated battery, it is important to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. A criminal lawyer can investigate your case and determine what defenses may be available to you. Some potential defenses to aggravated battery charges include:
- Self-defense: You may be able to assert self-defense if you can show that you were in fear of imminent bodily harm and that the level of force you used was reasonably necessary to protect yourself.
- Lack of intent: As previously mentioned, the prosecutor must be able to prove that you intended to commit the act for you to be convicted of the crime. If there is no evidence of your intent, you may be able to avoid a conviction.
- False accusation: Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for people to be falsely accused of crimes they did not commit. If you have been wrongfully charged with aggravated battery, you should speak with an attorney about your options.
- Defense of Others: In some cases, you may be able to assert the defense of others. It occurs when you use force to protect someone else from being harmed.
- Stand Your Ground: Florida’s “stand your ground” law may also be a defense to aggravated battery charges. Under this law, you can use deadly force if you reasonably believe it is necessary to prevent death or serious bodily harm.
Contact an Attorney Today
Being charged with aggravated battery is a serious matter that can have life-long consequences. It will likely be difficult to get your life back on track after a conviction for aggravated battery, but you have options. With the advice of an experienced attorney, you can fight the accusations and avoid this devastating outcome.
They know how to challenge the evidence against you and build a strong defense. Additionally, an attorney can negotiate with the prosecutor on your behalf to try to get the charges reduced or dismissed.
While the penalties for aggravated battery are severe, it is essential to remember that you are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If you have been accused of this crime, seek help from a qualified criminal defense attorney immediately.
Contact our attorneys at Hanlon Law today to schedule a consultation. We will review your case and determine the best course of action. Don’t let a charge of aggravated battery ruin your life. Call us today!
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Sarasota, FL 34236