Florida Statute: 784.03
(1)(a) The offense of battery occurs when a person:
- Actually and intentionally touches or strikes another person against the will of the other; or
- Intentionally causes bodily harm to another person.(b) Except as provided in subsection (2), a person who commits battery commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.(2) A person who has one prior conviction for battery, aggravated battery, or felony battery and who commits any second or subsequent battery commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. For purposes of this subsection, “conviction” means a determination of guilt that is the result of a plea or a trial, regardless of whether adjudication is withheld or a plea of nolo contendere is entered.
What is battery?
Battery is even more straight forward than the crime of assault. Battery only requires two basic things: (a) you intended to touch another person in a way that was harmful or unwanted, and (b) you actually touch that person in a way that was harmful or unwanted. That’s it. That is all the state is required to prove in order to prove that you are guilty of battery. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule and a ton of exceptions which we will discuss, but the general crime itself is simple and straight forward.
A simple example: someone punches another person. Depending on what item is used to make contact with the other individual, Battery can range from a misdemeanor to felony. For example, using your hands will almost always be a simple misdemeanor battery, outside of other circumstances discussed in another chapter. However, if you use a weapon to harm someone then the misdemeanor turns into a felony. For example, you hit someone with a baseball bat and now you have a felony.
Types of Battery
Simple – This is the unauthorized act of contact or using physical force to cause harm to another individual. This can be touching or physical injury.
Penalty: Misdemeanor offense with fines and up to a year in jail.
Aggravated – This type of battery will result in serious physical injuries. A weapon can be used to cause these injuries to the victim. In order to be charged for aggravated battery, the offender would have intended to cause harm to the victim.
Penalty: Can be a misdemeanor or a felony. If there are minimal injuries, then it’s usually a misdemeanor. Penalties can be fines and up to a year in jail. If the injuries are severe or a weapon was used, then it’s a felony. Penalties include fines and up to 25 years in prison.
Medical – If a medical professional fails to obtain consent from a patient to perform a task, then they have committed battery. This could be through touching the patient or handling the patient’s body without consent. This act could be used in a medical malpractice lawsuit for negligence.
Penalty: Misdemeanor offense with fines and up to a year in jail. May have to compensate the victim for any losses.