Assault / Battery Offenses

Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer and Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer

An assault on a law enforcement officer or first responder is a misdemeanor of the first degree and carries a maximum of one year in jail . If it is an aggravated assault it becomes a felony of the third degree and carries a minimum prison term of three years and a maximum of five years. A battery on a law enforcement officer or first responder is a felony of the third degree. An Aggravated Assault on a Law Enforcement is a second degree felony which carries up to 15 years in prison.   If it is an aggravated battery it becomes a felony of the first degree carrying a minimum prison term of five years and a maximum of 30 years..

Battery on certain specified person is an enhanced criminal penalty.   Statutes are  in effect for battery on specific persons such as a code inspector, healthcare service person, battery on the elderly (a person 65 years or older), and a detention officer or probation officer.

Although the nature of these charges is very serious and the State Attorney takes these types of charges very seriously, there are often defenses or mitigators which open up options, strategies, and alternatives for you. Many charges can be altered, reduced, dismissed or successfully defended.  Every case is different and every person charged is different and has different circumstance.  Even different law enforcement officers may be known to over charge or be the so called victim an inordinate amount of times.  These differences need to be addressed in your case and used to establish the best defense for you.

Domestic Battery

Types of Domestic Battery

Florida Statute 741.28 defines domestic violence as any assault, battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravating stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of a family or household member by another who is or has resided in the same dwelling unit.

Domestic Battery does not just mean husband or wife.   Family or household members under the statutes will include spouses, and even former spouses, as well as any adults related by blood or marriage, boyfriends or girl friends who have lived in the same residence or who have a “dating relationship”qualify as domestic batteries. Persons who are living together but not dating may also qualify as domestic.

Battery is defined as ‘actually and intentionally touching or striking another person against their will or intentionally causing bodily harm to another person. You can literally just push someone once and that can technically qualify as a battery.  A battery can become  a felony if there is a serious injury or a person has a previous simple battery conviction.  If there is only one previous battery conviction the state attorney can file a simple battery as a felony battery increasing the potential penalty from one year in jail to five years in prison.  See our section on aggravated battery for more information on this.

Strangulation.  A domestic battery, or any battery,  can also be a felony if it is alleged that the person committed domestic violence by strangulation  FS 784.041.

As you would imagine these types of charges are prosecuted aggressively.  Strangulation means simply impeding the normal breathing or circulation of the blood,  The same defense apply to this type of domestic battery as to others.  Do not delay, obtain a competent experienced domestic battery defense attorney as quickly as you can.  Our consultations are available quickly and are free as well as confidential.

Quite often charges of false imprisonment or tampering with a witness accompany a charge of domestic battery. Often there is an allegation that someone is held in a location against their will or that a person has taken their means of communication, such as a telephone, away from them, thus tampering with their ability to contact the authorities.

There is much involved with an accusation of domestic violence.  Do not attempt to go it alone, as they say.  A conviction for a domestic battery case can not be expunged from your record, so we strongly recommend that you seek professional advice.

A domestic violence injunction is something that is sought in civil court and is not by itself a criminal charge. However, if someone has an injunction against them and violates it, this can become a criminal charge of violation of an injunction, and a person can be jailed for this. If a person is served with a domestic violence injunction, they have a right to defend that before a judge. Notice will be sent. You should seek the assistance and advice of an experienced domestic violence defense attorney or Stalking defense attorney. Whatever occurs at an injunction hearing may be used in the prosecution of a criminal charge.

Let us put our experience to work for you. Call us or email us so we can help guide you through the process and defend your rights and future.

Battery on a Pregnant Female

Florida Statute 784.045 states a person commits an aggravated battery if the person who was the victim of the battery was pregnant at the time and the offender new, or should have known, that the victim was pregnant. This is a felony of the 2nd degree carrying up to 15 years in prison. Even if the alleged victim does not want to press charges or if there is mitigation in the case it is important to seek the immediate assistance of a domestic violence defense attorney. State attorney can file charges even if their alleged victim has requested not to prosecute. This can have long-lasting effects on the person accused as well as the alleged victim. Call us and set up a free confidential consultation so that we can discuss with you your options, your defenses,  and set up a plan for the defense of your case.

Battery on the Elderly

It is also a felony to commit a battery on someone 65 years of age or older. This may seem unusual to some people because many people over the age of 65 are in excellent health and may have even instigated an incident. Even a person who themselves is 65 or over can be charged with this if their alleged victim is 65 or older. This is true even though the intent of the statute appears to be to protect the elderly.

A battery to a person 65 or older can be simply pushing, slapping, hitting, bumping or doing some other physical act against that person’s will.  The fact that they are over 65 is what makes this a felony. Additionally, if the offense is an aggravated battery to begin with the degree of crime is increased from a 2nd degree  felony carrying up to 15 years in prison, to a 1st degree felony carrying up to 30 years in prison.  The age of the person increases the degree of the crime. This particular statute indicates that the court, or the judge, cannot withhold adjudication if a person is found guilty or pleads to this offense. A withholding of adjudication means that even though someone has pled to an offense it does not count as a conviction and does not prevent someone from  obtaining certain licenses and they do not lose their civil rights. A felony conviction remains on a person’s record forever and can prevent certain licensing and will remove most of a person civil rights including the right to vote  and carry arms.

Even though many of these offenses seem minor  when they occur, and they may occur between friends or relatives or even an arguments in a store, it is important to obtain the services of an experienced  criminal defense attorney for advice  and consultation as soon as possible. Larry Sandefer is a board certified criminal trial attorney and a former prosecutor and supervisor in the state attorney’s office.  He has the experience and know-how to assist you  in this very important time. Please call or email us to set up an immediate and confidential consultation.

You should always contact an experienced Pinellas County criminal and aggravated battery defense attorney and aggravated assault defense attorney for a consultation. Please review Larry Sandefer’s qualifications and extensive experience here. Then, call and talk on the phone or come in. There is no charge and all consultations are confidential.

Contact Florida Criminal Lawyers

Larry Sandefer – Clearwater Aggravated Battery Defense Attorney

  • Over 30 Years Courtroom Experience
  • Former Lead Trial Lawyer & Division Director
  • Over 5000 Criminal Cases Handled
  • Hundreds of Jury Trials as sole or lead counsel