Aggravated Battery – Great Bodily Harm

Aggravated Battery – Great Bodily Harm

Aggravated Battery– Great Bodily Harm

What must the prosecutor prove in an Aggravated Battery– Great Bodily Harm case?
According to Florida Statute § 784.045, a person commits Aggravated Battery who, in committing a Battery, intentionally or knowingly causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement.

What are the maximum penalties in an Aggravated  Battery–Great Bodily Harm case?
In Florida, Aggravated Battery-Great Bodily Harm is a second-degree felony punishable by a maximum of:

15 years of imprisonment
A $10,000.00 fine
15 years of probation

However, under Florida Statute § 775.087, if the State proves that the Defendant used a weapon during an aggravated battery in which the victim suffered Great Bodily Harm, then the Aggravated Battery Great Bodily Harm is reclassified from a second-degree felony to a first-degree felony, punishable by a maximum of:

30 years imprisonment
A $10,000 fine
30 years of probation

What is Great Bodily Harm?
The jury, or in the case of a bench trial the judge, determines whether or not an injury constitutes great bodily harm.  However, great bodily harm is not slight, trivial, minor, or moderate harm.  It does not include mere bruises as are likely to be inflicted in a simple assault and battery.  Broken bones, a broken nose, severe swelling to the head and eyes, cuts on a shoulder, substantial bruising, and scarring have all been held by Florida Courts to constitute great bodily harm.

Possible Defenses to an Aggravated Battery – Great Bodily Harm charge:

  1. The Florida Stand Your Ground Law

Under the Florida Stand Your Ground Law a person is justified in using deadly force if he or she reasonably believes that using such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself, herself, or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony.

  1. Self Defense to an Aggravated Battery – Great Bodily Harm Charge

Even when a judge rules that the Florida Stand Your Ground Law does not apply in a case, a person accused of Aggravated Battery can still claim he or she acted in Self-Defense.

If a jury, or in the case of a bench trial, the judge, were to find that there was a reasonable doubt as to whether or not a person was justified in using deadly force to protect himself or herself, then the jury or judge should find the person not guilty.

  1. The Witnesses are Lying

Alleged victims and witnesses in Aggravated Battery – Great Bodily Harm cases sometimes make false accusations because they have a motive to lie.  For example, child custody issues, cheating in a relationship, and other conflicts can motivate a person to claim an Aggravated Battery occurred when it did not.  A Defense Attorney can expose these motivations and attack false allegations.

  1. The Witnesses May Be Mistaken

Sometimes a witness may claim to have seen a Battery take place, but they were mistaken.  For example, Attorney Hardy handled an Aggravated Battery case in which a witness claimed to have seen Attorney Hardy’s client strike the alleged victim at a bar.  However, during Attorney Hardy’s investigation Attorney Hardy was able to prove that there was very little light in the bar, the witness had been drinking heavily, and that the witness saw the events take place behind her – through her legs – as she was crawling on the bar.  Evidence like this can discredit a witness’s testimony.

Common Question Regarding an Aggravated Battery  – Great Bodily Harm charge

  1. Does the State Have to Dismiss an Aggravated Battery – Great Bodily Harm Charge if the Victim Decides Not To Prosecute?

No.  Although the victim can request that the State Attorney’s Office not prosecute, the decision whether or not to prosecute is up to the prosecutor.  If the prosecutor can prove the case using other witnesses, videos, photos, or a 911 call, they will normally proceed with the case with or without the victim.

Are you looking for the best Aggravated Battery lawyer in Tampa Florida? Contact Attorney David C. Hardy.

Tampa Attorney David C. Hardy is a former prosecutor that now represents persons accused of Aggravated Battery.  He is Board Certified by the Florida Bar and the National Board of Trial Advocacy as an Expert in Criminal Trial Law. As a prosecutor and defense attorney, he has extensive experience handling all types of Aggravated Battery cases.

If you or a loved one has been arrested for Aggravated Battery in Hillsborough County Florida, Pinellas County Florida, or Pasco County Florida, Attorney David C. Hardy has the knowledge, skills, and experience to guide you through this process and obtain the best possible results.