Criminal Defense Law Firm For Simple Battery Arrest in Fort Walton Beach, Destin Or Anywhere In Okaloosa County
The offense of simple battery (Misdemeanor Battery) is governed under Fla. Stat. 784.03 and is defined as intentionally touching or striking another person, against their will, or to intentionally cause bodily harm to another person.
The charge is referred to as “simple battery” because it does not involve a domestic violence categorization. So in a sense, people tend to think of it is a lesser charge, however all misdemeanor battery crimes are first degree level misdemeanors with the similar penalties.
Statutorily, a criminal conviction for Domestic Violence Battery requires that the Defendant complete a 26 week Batterer’s Intervention Course while serving a minimum term of probation for 12 months.
Penalties For Simple Battery In Okaloosa County, Florida
Simple Battery is a first degree misdemeanor and punishable by up to one (1) year imprisonment and $1,000.00 in fines. If the charge is a second or subsequent battery charge, then it is a third degree felony with penalties of up to five (5) years imprisonment and $5,000.00 in fines.
Defense Strategies A Lawyer Should Use For A Misdemeanor Battery Charge
The State has the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the Defendant intentionally, struck or touched the victim against their will, or otherwise caused bodily harm to them. Keep in mind that Simple Battery can be caused by something as simple as grabbing another person’s arm.
It is also important to know that technically – the victim does not have to be injured for the contact to result in a battery charge. An experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney will know all the possible defenses that are available to you.
There are some specific defenses that can be raised for any battery related charge. Many times, the actual physical touching or contact can be disputed either because of a general lack of evidence. And in many cases, police fail to take pictures of the alleged victim.
So the only evidence presented would be testimonial when jurors want to see some shred of physical evidence. Additionally, a case may weaken for the prosecution when witnesses give differing accounts of what happened. This is referred to as a “conflict in the evidence” that requires a verdict of not guilty.
The “Fight” Defense is where a situation arises when two individuals engage in a “mutually combative” physical alternation. If it can be shown that the alleged victim was not struck against their will, but the physical contact was invited by the victim, then the Battery charge cannot stand.
Self-defense is probably the most common affirmative defense to a simple Battery charge. It is lawful to defend yourself against another person’s attack, so long as the force used is reasonable and justifiable. Accidental or inadvertent contact would negate the intent of the crime, so it could be a defense as well.
If you or a family member has been arrested for Simple Battery in Fort Walton Beach, Destin or elsewhere in Okaloosa County, give me a call for a free consultation at (850) 362-6655.