Miami Aggravated Battery Defense Attorney
Under Florida law, battery occurs when a person intentionally touches, strikes or causes bodily harm to another person. Aggravated battery is a more serious offense, and a conviction can result in severe penalties, including a lengthy prison sentence, probation, and significant fines. If you have been charged with aggravated battery, it is important to know your rights.
Located in Miami, Valiente Law routinely defends clients against aggravated battery charges in South Florida. Knowing that an arrest, not to mention a conviction, can be life-altering, we will provide you with effective legal representation. Guided by the principle that all of our clients will receive the absolute best possible representation, our criminal defense attorneys will fight to preserve your freedom. By working with our legal team, you can rest assured we will never stop fighting for you.
Three Degrees of Battery in Florida
Depending on the circumstances, battery can be classified as simple battery, felony battery or aggravated battery:
- Misdemeanor/Simple Battery — Actually and intentionally touching, striking or causing bodily harm to another person, without aggravating factors, such as use of a weapon, serious bodily injury, or domestic violence. Simple battery is considered a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine up to $1,000.
- Felony Battery — Actually and intentionally striking a person and causing great bodily harm, permanent disability or permanent disfigurement, without the conscious intent to cause such harm. Felony battery is classified as a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison or five years probation, fines up to $5,000, restitution, community service, psychological evaluations, and counseling.
- Aggravated battery — Actually and intentionally touching or striking another person and intentionally or knowingly causing great bodily harm, permanent disability or permanent disfigurement, or using a deadly weapon, or battering a woman the defendant knew or should have known was pregnant, or battering an elderly person 65 years of age or older. Aggravated battery is classified as a second-degree felony, punishable by 15 years in prison, probation and a fine of up to $10,000.
Penalties for Aggravated Battery
In addition to the penalties for aggravated battery listed above, mandatory minimum sentencing may apply. Moreover, dangerous weapons enhancements apply if the defendant uses a firearm during the commission of the crime. Under Florida’s 10-20-Life law, a defendant who is convicted of aggravated battery with a firearm could receive a stiff mandatory-minimum prison sentence:
- 10 years if the defendant was in possession of a firearm
- 20 years the firearm was discharged
- 25 years to life imprisonment if someone is injured or killed by the firearm
Finally, under Florida’s Habitual Felony Offender Law, if a person commits any combination of two or more felonies, the court can impose double the sentence.
Defenses to Aggravated Battery
Although each case is unique, it may be possible to assert the following defenses:
- Self Defense — The use of deadly or non-deadly force is permitted to protect yourself or a third party, provided that you reasonably believed the other person’s action were likely to result in death or serious bodily harm.
- Lack of Intent – Because it is necessary for the prosecution to demonstrate your intent to prove its case, it may be possible to demonstrate the act was unintentional.
Additionally, having an alibi — you were not present when the crime occurred — or being the victim of mistaken identity, are among the defenses that may be available to you.
Why Call Valiente Law?
Because a conviction for aggravated battery can have lasting consequences, not the least of which are the loss of your freedom and damage to your reputation, it is crucial to have the first-rate legal representation we are able to provide. We will assess the evidence against you, design the best line of defense, and aggressively fight for you or your loved one to make sure they get the best possible result.
Depending on the circumstances, we may look to assert that you did not have the required intent to commit aggravated battery or cause bodily harm. It may also be possible to show that you acted in self-defense to protect yourself or another person from being harmed. Moreover, because the prosecution’s case may depend on the testimony of eyewitnesses who are often unreliable, we may be able to raise a mistaken identity defense.
Although we are committed to winning an acquittal, we will give you an honest assessment of your chances for success and may seek to have the charges reduced. When your freedom and your future is hanging in the balance, Valiente Law is your best choice in criminal defense. Please contact our office as soon as possible to set up a free consultation.