Florida has one of the most complex criminal punishment codes in the United States. Not only are there thousands of individual criminal statutes, but there are various modifiers and enhancements that apply to some or all of the criminal laws. Aggravated battery is one of the enhancements to the basic offense of battery. Aggravated battery is codified and defined under Florida Statute Section 784.045. Under the statute, a person can be convicted of aggravated battery if he or she is first found guilty of committing the underlying crime of battery and in the commission of that battery, caused great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement or used a deadly weapon. Aggravated battery can carry serious criminal penalties, so if you are charged with such a crime, you should not hesitate to contact a dedicated Sarasota criminal lawyer to aid in your defense.
In order to reach the level of aggravated battery, the prosecution must first establish that the crime of battery was committed. Battery is defined under Florida Statute 784.03 as the actual, intentional touching or striking of another person against their will. Many people believe that a criminal battery is committed only if they cause harm to another person. This is a common misconception. The reality is that even if a person simply touches another against their will, they can face charges for misdemeanor battery. Misdemeanor battery, however, is not usually a serious charge. It becomes much more serious when the charge is enhanced to aggravated battery.Elements of Aggravated Battery
Battery can be enhanced to aggravated battery in several ways. If the defendant is proven to have caused the victim of the battery great bodily harm, then he or she may be convicted of aggravated battery. Great bodily harm is not defined by the statute, so it is typically left up to the discretion of a jury to determine if great bodily harm actually occurred. This can be a dangerous situation, as overzealous prosecutors will often describe even minor injuries as great bodily harm and try to convince juries of this fact as well. If a prosecutor has charged you with aggravated battery, you should reach out to a Sarasota criminal defense lawyer right away to find out what defenses you might be able to assert.
A defendant can also be convicted of aggravated battery if the prosecution proves that he or she caused the victim permanent disability or permanent disfigurement. Again, the statutes themselves fail to define these important terms, so it has been left up to the courts to figure out the meaning behind these vague terms. Courts have found that permanent injuries as minor as small scars could be interpreted as permanent disfigurement. And courts have also gone as far to indicated that any reduced function of any body part as a result of a battery can be construed as permanent disability. Because the system has made it so easy for prosecutors to charge and convict people of aggravated battery.
Finally, the State can prove a defendant guilty of aggravated battery if they present evidence that the defendant used a deadly weapon during the commission of the crime. Once again, what constitutes a deadly weapon is not clearly defined by the statute, and is left up to jurors to define. Courts have indicated that tools, drinking glasses, and even fruits could be construed as deadly weapons justifying these types of charges. Do not allow yourself to be railroaded with serious charges thanks to the vague criminal statutes put in place by our government. Instead, hire a dedicated Sarasota criminal lawyer to defend your case.Speak To Our Lawyers Today
The attorneys at Hanlon Law have years of experience defending clients in all manner of criminal prosecutions. We pride ourselves on the excellent results we achieve for those clients and look forward to providing you with the same level of representation. Call today for a consultation at 941.462.1789.