Aggravated Battery Defense

Aggravated Battery Defense in Tampa, Florida

Types of Aggravated Battery Offenses in Tampa, Florida:

 

Aggravated Battery in Tampa – DEADLY WEAPON

What must the prosecutor prove in an Aggravated Battery in Florida – Deadly Weapon case?

According to Florida Statute § 784.045, a person commits aggravated battery who, in committing a Battery in Tampa, uses a deadly weapon.

What are the maximum penalties in an Aggravated Battery in Florida –Deadly Weapon Case?

Aggravated Battery in Tampa – Deadly Weapon is a second-degree felony punishable by a maximum of:

  1. 15 years of imprisonment
  2. A $10,000.00 fine
  3. 15 years of probation

Possible Defenses to an Aggravated Battery in Florida – Deadly Weapon 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 in Tampa – Deadly Weapon 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 – Deadly Weapon 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 Deadly Weapon case in which a witness claimed to have seen Attorney Hardy’s client strike the alleged victim at a bar with a beer bottle.  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 in Florida  – Deadly Weapon charge

  1. Does the State Have to Dismiss an Aggravated Battery in Florida – Deadly Weapon 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.

 

Aggravated Battery in Tampa – GREAT BODILY HARM

What must the prosecutor prove in an Aggravated Battery in Florida– Great Bodily Harm case?

According to Florida Statute § 784.045, a person commits Aggravated Battery in Tampa 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 in Florida – Great Bodily Harm case?

Aggravated Battery in Florida – 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 in Florida – 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 in Florida – 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 in Tampa – Great Bodily Harm charge

  1. Does the State Have to Dismiss an Aggravated Battery in Florida – 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.

 

Aggravated Battery in Tampa – PREGNANT WOMAN

What must the prosecutor prove in an Aggravated Battery in Florida – Pregnant Woman case?

According to Florida Statute § 784.045, a person commits Aggravated Battery in Florida on a Pregnant Woman if the person:

  1. Actually and intentionally touches or strikes another person against the will of the other; or intentionally causes bodily harm to another person.
  2. The victim was pregnant at the time.
  3. The person committing the battery knew or should have known that the victim was pregnant.

What are the maximum penalties in an Aggravated Battery in Tampa – Pregnant Woman case?

Aggravated Battery in Florida – Pregnant Woman is a second-degree felony punishable by a maximum of:

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

Possible Defenses to an Aggravated Battery in Tampa – Pregnant Woman charge:

  1. The Person Accused Did Not Know that the Alleged Victim was Pregnant.

In order for a person to be convicted of Battery on a Pregnant Woman, that person had to know, or the person should have known, that the victim was pregnant.

  1. The Florida Stand Your Ground Law

Under the Florida Stand Your Ground Law a person is justified in using force against another if the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend him or herself against the other’s imminent use of unlawful force.

  1. Self Defense to an Aggravated Battery in Tampa – 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 a Battery 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 – Pregnant Woman 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 in Florida – Great Bodily Harm charge

  1. Does the State Have to Dismiss an Aggravated Battery in Florida – Pregnant Woman 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.

 

Aggravated Battery in Tampa ON A FIREFIGHTER

What must the prosecutor prove in an Aggravated Battery in Florida on a Firefighter case?

According to Florida Statute § 784.07, to prove the offense of Aggravated Battery in Florida on a Firefighter, the State must prove the following beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. The Defendant intentionally touched or struck the victim against his or her will; or, the Defendant intentionally caused bodily harm to the victim.
  2. Defendant intentionally or knowingly caused great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement to the victim, or the Defendant used a deadly weapon.
  3. The victim was a Firefighter.
  4. Defendant knew that the victim was a Firefighter.
  5. The Victim was engaged in the lawful performance of his or her duties when the battery was committed.

Who qualifies as a Firefighter?

Florida Statute 784.07(1)(b) states that a “Firefighter” means any person employed by any public employer of this state whose duty it is to extinguish fires; to protect life or property; or to enforce municipal, county, and state fire prevention codes, as well as any law pertaining to the prevention and control of fires.

What is a deadly weapon?

A weapon is a “deadly weapon” if it is used or threatened to be used in a way likely to produce death or great bodily harm.

What are the maximum penalties in an Aggravated Battery in Florida on a Firefighter case?

Aggravated Battery in Tampa on a Firefighter is a first-degree felony punishable by a maximum of:

  1. 30 years of imprisonment
  2. A $10,000.00 fine
  3. 30 years of probation
  4. Mandatory Adjudication of Guilt

Possible Defenses to an Aggravated Battery in Tampa on a Firefighter 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

Even when a judge rules that the Florida Stand Your Ground Law does not apply in a case, a person accused of Aggravated Battery on a Firefighter 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 committing an Aggravated Battery on a Firefighter to protect himself or herself, then the jury or judge should find the person not guilty.

  1. The Victim Was Not Engaged in the Lawful Performance of His or Her Duties

In order for the State to bring a charge of Aggravated Battery on Firefighter, the victim must have been engaged in the lawful performance of his or her duties at the time of the Aggravated Battery.

For example, imagine a uniformed Firefighter is on a break and drives his car to a restaurant to get something to eat. Imagine further that the Firefighter and Person B get in an argument over a parking spot and Person B strikes the Firefighter with a bottle and seriously injures him.

Because at the time of the Aggravated Battery the Firefighter was not engaged in the lawful performance of his duties, Person B can’t be convicted of Aggravated Battery on a Firefighter.  However, it is possible that Person B could be convicted of Aggravated Battery.

 

Aggravated Battery in Tampa ON A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER

What must the prosecutor prove in an Aggravated Battery in Florida on a Law Enforcement Officer case?

According to Florida Statute § 784.07, to prove the offense of Aggravated Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer the State must prove the following beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. The Defendant intentionally touched or struck the victim against his or her will; or, the Defendant intentionally caused bodily harm to the victim.
  2. Defendant intentionally or knowingly caused great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement to the victim, or the Defendant used a deadly weapon.
  3. The victim was a Law Enforcement Officer.
  4. Defendant knew that the victim was a Law Enforcement Officer
  5. The Victim was engaged in the lawful performance of his or her duties when the battery was committed.

What are the maximum penalties in an Aggravated Battery in Florida on a Law Enforcement Officer case?

Aggravated Battery in Tampa on a Law Enforcement Officer is a first-degree felony punishable by a maximum of:

  1. 30 years of imprisonment
  2. A $10,000.00 fine
  3. 30 years of probation
  4. A minimum mandatory of Five Years in prison

Possible Defenses to an Aggravated Battery in Florida on a Law Enforcement Officer Charge:

  1. Self Defense in an Aggravated Battery in Tampa on a Law Enforcement Officer Charge

Under Florida Law, a person is not justified in using force to resist an arrest by a law enforcement officer, or to resist a law enforcement officer who is engaged in the execution of a legal duty, if the law enforcement officer was acting in good faith and he or she is known, or reasonably appears, to be a law enforcement officer.

However, if an officer uses excessive force to make an arrest, then a person is justified in the use of reasonable force to defend him or herself or another, but only to the extent he or she reasonably believes such force is necessary.

  1. The Officer was not engaged in the lawful performance of his or her duties

A conviction for Aggravated Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer requires proof that the officer was engaged in the performance of a lawful duty.  For example, in the case of Nicolosi v. State, 783 So.2d 1095 (5th DCA 2001) a female college student slapped a police officer that was working an off-duty job at a nightclub.  Because the officer was working the door checking identifications when he was slapped, the Court found that the officer was not engaged in the lawful performance of his duty but was rather working for a private employer.  Therefore, a college student could not be convicted of Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer.

  1. The Defendant did not Know the Victim was a Law Enforcement Officer

A conviction for Aggravated Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer requires proof that the Defendant knew the victim was a Law Enforcement Officer.  For example, if an officer was working in plain clothes in an undercover capacity and did not properly identify himself as a Law Enforcement Officer, a Defendant accused of an Aggravated Battery on that officer could claim he did not know the victim was a law enforcement officer.

 

Aggravated Battery in Tampa ON AN EMERGENCY MEDICAL CARE PROVIDER

What must the prosecutor prove in an Aggravated Battery in Florida on an Emergency Medical Care Provider case?

According to Florida Statute § 784.07, to prove the offense of Aggravated Battery in Tampa on an Emergency Medical Care provider, the State must prove the following beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. The Defendant intentionally touched or struck the victim against his or her will; or, the Defendant intentionally caused bodily harm to the victim.
  2. Defendant intentionally or knowingly caused great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement to the victim, or the Defendant used a deadly weapon.
  3. The victim was an Emergency Medical Care Provider.
  4. Defendant knew that the victim was an Emergency Medical Care Provider.
  5. The Victim was engaged in the lawful performance of his or her duties when the battery was committed.

Who qualifies as an Emergency Medical Care Provider?

Florida Statute 784.07(1)(a) states, in part, that an “Emergency Medical Care Provider” means an ambulance driver, emergency medical technician, paramedic, registered nurse, physician, medical director, or any person authorized by an emergency medical service who is engaged in the performance of his or her duties. The term “emergency medical care provider” also includes physicians, employees, agents, or volunteers of hospitals as defined in chapter 395, who are employed, under contract, or otherwise authorized by a hospital to perform duties directly associated with the care and treatment rendered by the hospital’s emergency department or the security thereof.

What is a deadly weapon?

A weapon is a “deadly weapon” if it is used or threatened to be used in a way likely to produce death or great bodily harm.

What are the maximum penalties in an Aggravated Battery in Florida on an Emergency Medical Care Provider case?

In Florida, an Aggravated Battery in Florida on an Emergency Medical Care Provider is a first-degree felony punishable by a maximum of:

  1. 30 years of imprisonment
  2. A $10,000.00 fine
  3. 30 years of probation
  4. Mandatory Adjudication of Guilt

Possible Defenses to an Aggravated Battery in Florida on an Emergency Medical Provider 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 on an Emergency Medical Provider 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 on an Emergency Medical Provider can still claim he or she acted in Self-Defense.

If a jury, or in the case of a bench trial, the judge, was to find that there was a reasonable doubt as to whether or not a person was justified in committing an Aggravated Battery on an Emergency Medical Provider to protect himself or herself, then the jury or judge should find the person not guilty.

  1. The Victim Was Not Engaged in the Lawful Performance of His or Her Duties

In order for the State to bring a charge of Aggravated Battery on an Emergency Medical Care Provider, the victim must have been engaged in the lawful performance of his or her duties at the time of the Aggravated Battery.

For example, imagine a paramedic is arriving to work at a hospital and the paramedic and Person B get in an argument over a parking spot. Imagine further that Person B strikes the paramedic with a bottle and seriously injures him.

Because at the time of the Aggravated Battery the paramedic was not engaged in the lawful performance of his duties, Person B can’t be convicted of Battery on an Emergency Medical Care Provider.  However, it is possible that Person B could be convicted of Aggravated Battery.

  1. The State Must Prove That the Victim was an Emergency Medical Care Provider

In the case of Spurgeon v. State, 114 So.3d 1042 (Fla. 5th DCA 2013), the Defendant was charged with battery on an emergency medical care provider for spitting in the face of a hospital security officer.  At trial, the State was required to prove that the hospital where the incident took place fit the legal definition of a hospital as laid out in Chapter 395 of the Florida Statutes.  Because at trial the State failed to prove the hospital fit this precise legal definition, the Court overturned the Defendant’s conviction.

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

Tampa Criminal Defense 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, contact Attorney David C. Hardy. He has the knowledge, skills, and experience to guide you through this process and obtain the best possible results.