It can be a scary and disorienting experience to be accused of battery. Suddenly, your life is thrown into chaos as the police investigate, you may have mounting legal fees, and you might even face jail if convicted. In times like these, you must seek help from a trusted professional – which is why we urge anyone accused of battery in Clearwater to connect with our experienced Battery Lawyer in Clearwater at Smith & Eulo.
We have extensive knowledge of all applicable laws related to battery cases and are well-equipped to ensure the best possible outcome for our clients. Whether it’s having charges dropped or reduced or ensuring bail terms comply with your needs, we’re ready and able to step up as your advocate throughout this challenging process.
Understanding What Battery & Assault Means
Battery is an application of force, directly or indirectly, towards another person or their personal belongings, resulting in physical injury. If the accused only attempted to cause harm or battery to the victim, it’s called an assault.
Assault is an intentional act that puts another person in fear of immediate harm but does not actually result in physical contact. Hence, the victim is put in immediate apprehension of such contact. Intentional means the act is not accidental, but the motive is immaterial.
Even though battery and assault are classified as misdemeanors, these are still severe and enhanceable crimes that can result in jail time. Thus, if you already have a prior battery or assault conviction, the subsequent simple offenses can become a felony.
Aggravated Battery in Clearwater, FL
Aggravated battery is a severe form of battery where the person touches the victim intending to cause serious harm. In turn, a simple battery can become aggravated if they use a deadly weapon or if they caused harm to a woman, and the defendant was aware that she was pregnant at the time.
According to Florida Statute § 784.045, if one of the following was committed, it’s already aggravated battery:
- Intentionally touching the victim to cause severe bodily harm
- Using a deadly weapon to commit the offense
- Harming or battering a pregnant woman (the defendant must know that the woman is pregnant during the crime)
It’s worth noting that aggravated battery means the harm caused must be more severe. If you don’t know the definition of deadly weapon in Florida, consulting a Battery Lawyer Defense in Clearwater is the best course of action because they can analyze all aspects of your case.
Penalties of Battery & Assault in Florida
Even though battery and assault are used interchangeably, both have distinct differences that make them unique and come with their own set of penalties. These penalties and fines sentencing for battery and assault are as follows:
Penalties for simple battery charges:
- Simple battery is considered a misdemeanor to the first-degree
- The state can request up to one year of jail time
- Fine can’t exceed $1,000
Penalties for felony battery charges:
- Felony battery is considered a third-degree felony
- The maximum jail sentence is five years once convicted
- The fine cannot exceed $5,000
Penalties for the aggravated battery:
- Aggravated battery is considered a second-degree felony
- Maximum jail time for this charge is up to 15 years
- The fine is up to $10,000
Penalties for simple assault:
- Simple assault is considered a second-degree misdemeanor
- The prison sentence is up to 60 days in jail
- Fine can’t exceed $500
Penalties for aggravated assault:
- Aggravated assault is already a third-degree felony
- Imprisonment is up to five years
- The fine cannot exceed $5,000
What if I was Accused of Battery?
Suppose you have been accused of battery by another person. In that case, you will need the help of a reputable Clearwater Battery lawyer with years of experience defending those wrongly accused. You must know your rights because getting convicted of this offense will have consequences that can negatively affect your life.
A Battery Lawyer defense attorney in Clearwater will be able to provide an extensive analysis of the case and craft a solid legal strategy that will get you the best possible outcome in court. Furthermore, they’ll ensure your rights are respected, and you’re not taken advantage of by overzealous prosecutors or law enforcement officers.
In addition, they can create a strong defense backed by evidence that will prove your innocence in court.
Some examples of defenses your lawyer can use:
- Probably the most common defense used in battery and assault charges is self-defense. You must generally show a threat of unlawful harm against you, a real and honest perceived fear of harm to yourself, no harm or provocation on your part, and there was no chance to escape or retreat.
- Defense of others is when you’re trying to defend another person.
- Defense of property is when you have to prove that you were only acting to defend your property from being invaded or illegally withheld.
- The weapon used doesn’t meet the state’s definition of a deadly weapon.
- You didn’t know that the victim was pregnant at the time.
- The contact made was accidental and not intentional.
- You have an alibi, and the victim identified you accidentally and you’re the wrong person.
You and your attorney can use these defenses to help you get out of a battery charge. Backed by evidence and testimony, your lawyer can help you prove to the court that you are innocent of wrongdoing.
Your attorney can also negotiate a plea deal with the prosecutor or even work towards getting your charges dropped if the evidence isn’t sufficient enough to convict you in court. With their help, you may avoid prison time and fines altogether.
Form a Strong Case Against Your Battery Charge
A strategy is required to fight your battery charge, especially if you know that you were wrongfully accused. And with the help of the right professionals, you can easily beat it. Fortunately, Smith & Eulo has an experienced team who can provide legal counsel during the process.
Legal counsel is necessary, and we can guide you through the process. So book a consultation or contact us today, and we’ll work towards getting your best possible outcome with our skilled attorneys.