Aggravated Battery Laws in Florida
According to § 784.045, Fla. Stat., a person is guilty of aggravated battery if they intentionally or knowingly cause great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement while committing a battery. Aggravated battery with a deadly weapon may also be included in the charges.
Aggravated Battery Penalties
Aggravated battery is a violent crime that is aggressively prosecuted in Florida. It is classified as a second-degree felony, and the penalties include 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Aggravated Battery: 10-20-Life Statute
If an aggravated battery involves the actual possession or discharge of a firearm, then a mandatory prison sentence is triggered under Florida’s 10-20-Life statute (§ 775.087, Fla. Stat.).
Under the 10-20-Life statute, if you are convicted of an aggravated battery in the following circumstances, you will face the following minimum mandatory sentences:
- Actual possession of a firearm: three years in prison
- Discharge of a firearm: 20 years in prison
- Discharge of a firearm and cause great bodily harm or death: 25 years in prison
Aggravated Battery Charges – Aggravating and Mitigating Factors
The presence of aggravating factors can increase the likelihood of a conviction and result in a harsher sentence. Conversely, the presence of mitigating factors can decrease the possibility of a conviction and result in a more lenient sentence.
The specific factors that can aggravate or mitigate the charge will vary depending on the facts of the case, but some common examples include:
- The defendant used a deadly weapon in the commission of the offense.
- You caused great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement to the victim.
- The victim was pregnant at the time of the crime, and you knew or should have known that the victim was pregnant.
- You were previously convicted of a felony involving violence.
- You committed the offense in a particularly cruel or heinous manner.
- You were motivated by hatred, prejudice, or bias.
- You do not have a criminal record.
- You were acting in self-defense or defense of others.
- You were under extreme duress or coercion.
- You were mentally or emotionally disturbed at the time of the offense.
- You have taken responsibility for your actions
This is not an exhaustive list of all possible aggravating and mitigating factors. The judge will determine the specific factors that will be considered in any given case.
Collateral Consequences of Aggravated Battery Charges
Collateral consequences are the non-criminal consequences of a criminal conviction. They can significantly impact your life, even after you have completed your sentence.
Some potential collateral consequences of an aggravated battery conviction in Florida include:
- A conviction for aggravated battery can make finding or keeping a job difficult.
- Some landlords may refuse to rent to people with criminal records.
- You may be expelled from school or suspended from participating in certain extracurricular activities.
- A conviction for aggravated battery may affect your eligibility for financial aid.
- If you have a professional license, such as a medical license or a law license, your conviction could lead to the suspension or revocation of your license.
- In Florida, felons are not eligible to vote until they have completed their sentence and all associated probation and parole requirements.
- Felons are not allowed to own guns in the United States.
- If you are not a U.S. citizen, a conviction could lead to deportation.
How Long Does an Aggravated Battery Charge Stay on Your Record?
An aggravated battery conviction will stay on your record in Florida permanently. Since it is a violent felony offense, it cannot be expunged later.
Even if you are not able to have your aggravated battery conviction removed from your record, there are things you can do to mitigate the collateral consequences. For example, you can talk to future employers about your conviction and explain why you made the mistake. You can also look for jobs that do not require background checks.
It is important to remember that you are not alone. Millions of people have criminal records, and many can live successful lives despite their criminal past.
How an Aggravated Battery Lawyer Can Help Your Case
The Florida criminal justice system is harsh on those charged and convicted of aggravated battery. That’s why it is essential to work closely with a criminal defense attorney if you’ve been arrested.
Getting Your Charges Dismissed
There are a few ways to get aggravated battery charges dismissed in Florida:
- The prosecutor may drop the charges. This can happen if the prosecutor does not believe that they have enough evidence to convict you or that it is in the victim’s best interests to drop the charges.
- You may be able to reach a plea agreement with the prosecutor. This means you would agree to plead guilty to a lesser charge, such as simple battery or misdemeanor assault, in exchange for the prosecutor dropping the aggravated battery charges.
- You may be able to get the charges dismissed through a motion to dismiss. This is a legal motion that you can file with the court, asking the judge to dismiss the charges against you. There are several reasons why a judge might dismiss aggravated battery charges, such as if the charges were not filed correctly or if there is not enough evidence to support the charges.
If you are facing aggravated battery charges in Florida, it is essential to speak with an experienced aggravated battery lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney can help you understand your charges and develop a defense strategy that is tailored to the specific facts of your case.
Here are some specific things that your attorney may do to try to get your aggravated battery charges dismissed:
- Investigate the Case: Your attorney will review the police report and other evidence to try to identify any weaknesses in the prosecution’s case.
- File Motions: Your attorney may file motions to suppress evidence or dismiss the charges.
- Negotiate with the Prosecutor: Your attorney may try to negotiate a plea agreement with the prosecutor to get the charges dropped or reduced.
- Take the Case to Trial: If your attorney is unable to get the charges dismissed or reduced, they will represent you at trial.
It is important to remember that every case is different. The best way to determine how to get your aggravated battery charges dismissed is to speak with an experienced attorney.
We Will Protect Your Rights – Call Today
Aggravated battery charges in Florida are some of the most serious that you can face. The penalties and collateral consequences will forever affect your life. However, a skilled aggravated battery attorney at Mitkevicius Law, PLLC can help you build a strong defense.
Attorney Josef Mitkevicius will use his 10+ years of legal experience to get you a fair deal. Call us today at 850-361-2142 to schedule a free consultation.