The Law in Plain English – Boca Raton ➔ West Palm Beach ➔ Jupiter’s Top Criminal Lawyer Joshua LeRoy, ESQ. on:Misdemeanor Battery – F.S. 784.03
What is misdemeanor battery?
A battery is defined as the intentionally touching of another person against his/her will, or intentionally causing physical harm to another person. Battery is a first degree misdemeanor. Battery is charged as a “Domestic Battery” when the parties involved in the case are family members, spouses, former spouses, persons with children in common, persons who live together like a family, and persons dating. Despite also being a first degree misdemeanor, “Domestic Battery” is a crime that prosecutors take very seriously and is prosecuted more harshly than a simple battery.
If a person has a prior conviction for battery, a misdemeanor battery can be charged as a third degree felony, FELONY BATTERY.
Is it still considered a “battery” if the other person was not hurt?
Yes. A battery charge only requires an allegation of the touching of another person, or “victim,” against his/her will. Whether the “victim” is actually injured or hurt is not a necessary element of the misdemeanor charge. The question is simple, “was the victim touched and did he/sher want to be touched.” The question regarding the severity of the injuries suffered by “the victim” differentiates a misdemeanor battery charge from the felony charges of AGGRAVATED BATTERY or FELONY BATTERY. The key to defending a misdemeanor battery charge is to examine the whether the touching was intentional as opposed to accidental, and/or was the touching justified, i.e. an act of self-defense.
Additionally, throwing objects and/or spitting at “the victim” can also be considered a battery.
Are the charges the same regardless of who the victim is?
Similar to an assault charge, a battery charge can be enhanced from a misdemeanor to a felony if the battery was toward certain “special victims.” These victims include law enforcement, those over 65 years of age, and children.
What is the difference between a “simple battery” and a “domestic battery”?
The relationship between the two parties involved in the battery determines whether it is charged as a battery or a domestic battery. A domestic battery has far reaching consequences beyond the immediate punishment, including prevention from ever being able to own a firearm.
What are the consequences of a misdemeanor battery charge?
In Florida, battery is a misdemeanor of the first degree. The penalties include up to twelve (12) months in the county jail or on probation, in addition to a $1,000 fine.
Hiring a lawyer is imperative if charged with a misdemeanor battery. Battery charges are treated very seriously in misdemeanor court because a battery is a crime of violence and always involves a “victim.” A knowledgeable attorney can help you understand your options when charged with a misdemeanor battery. An experienced attorney can ensure that the State Attorney knows the actual facts and circumstances of what transpired and does not simply rely on the word of the “victim.”
If you, or someone you know, have been charged with Misdemeanor Battery in West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Lake Worth, Delray Beach or any of the surrounding areas in Palm Beach County use the form below to drop me a note. Let me know a bit about yourself, what’s happened, and a good time to contact you.
-Joshua LeRoy, Esq.
Criminal Defense Attorney Joshua LeRoy, Esq. is dedicated to providing his clients with personalized, honest, and aggressive representation in any and all areas of criminal law in West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Lake Worth, Delray Beach & the surrounding areas of Palm Beach County in the State of Florida.
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