People often get assault and battery confused. Each are distinct and separate crimes. There are many battery statutes on the books relating to different factual scenarios and each are treated differently. Some battery statutes specifically relate to firearms, law enforcement officers, elderly people, disabled people and more. Call the experienced Jacksonville criminal defense lawyers of SLG Law today to discuss your battery case.
A Battery happens when you touch or hit someone against their will or when you intentionally, physically harm them. As you can see, there are many actions that most people wouldn't consider a criminal battery that fall under the criminal statute. A gentle, annoying tug on your sister's hair is technically a battery under the statute. A push or shove is a battery. Spitting on someone could be a battery. Of course, the State must prove the case to a jury made up of normal, everyday citizens. So, whether the State can prove their case often depends on whether there was any injury, the credibility of the listed victim and/or witnesses, and other factors.
- You intentionally touched or struck the victim against his or her will, or
- you intentionally caused bodily harm to the victim.
Yes. Technically, under the law, you could be convicted of battery for very minimal contact with the listed victim. For example, a brother could be convicted of battery for giving his brother a noogie or wet willie. The law is extremely broad and gives prosecutors great discretion over what conduct they will prosecute. Of course, what the State can prosecute and what a jury would find a citizen guilty of are two different things. If you have a Jacksonville Battery case, give our experienced criminal defense lawyers a call for a free consultation.
If you are charged with intentionally causing bodily harm to someone, the State doesn't have to prove that it was against the listed victim's will. If you are only charged with touching or striking someone, the State has to prove it was against their will. Even if the listed victim now says that it wasn't against his or her will, a jury could still convict based on other evidence that it was against his or her will at the time of the battery. For example, if two friends get into an argument in front of eyewitnesses and one friend punches the other friend in the eye but later testifies at trial that it was just a fist fight and the battery wasn't against his will, the State could still obtain a conviction based on the eyewitness testimony, evidence of injury, and other circumstantial evidence.
Up to 1 year in jail.
Second or Subsequent Offense
Up to 5 years in prison
Felony Battery is simple battery plus great bodily harm, permanent disability or permanent disfigurement. So, if you intended the act (i.e. punching the listed victim) and the result of that act caused great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement, then the charge would be enhanced from misdemeanor battery to felony battery. It doesn't matter if you didn't intend the injury, so even if the injury was the result of a freak accident (i.e. victim falls and hits his head on cement), you could be convicted of felony battery. In other words, the State does not have to prove that you intended the injury, only that you intended the battery, which in turn, caused the injury.
- You actually and intentionally touched or struck the victim against his or her will, and
- you caused the victim great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement.
Felony Battery is a Third Degree Felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison.
The most common defense to battery is self defense. Usually, when two people are engaged in a disagreement and one is charged with battery, there will be a self defense argument, or alternatively known as "justifiable use of non-deadly force". Another common defense is that the listed victim and/or witnesses is not telling the truth or they are embellishing. Many battery cases involve no injury or very minor redness or scratches. How those red marks or scratches got on the listed victim is often disputed. Many times, alcohol is involved. The listed victim usually has a reason to want the person to get into trouble. It is rarely a one sided affair. Give our experienced Jacksonville criminal defense attorneys a call to discuss the individual facts and possible defenses that we would employ in your case.
Call Shorstein, Lasnetski & Gihon Now!