Aggravated Battery Causing Deadly Harm
Aggravated battery causing great bodily harm, permanent disfigurement, or permanent disability is a very serious felony charge in Florida. While it can be overwhelming to be charged with such a serious crime, especially when a weapon is involved, an experienced St. Petersburg battery defense lawyer with a good reputation can make a difference to the outcome of your case. You should contact us at Hanlon Law during the investigation stage of your case if possible, before charges are filed. We are dedicated to pursuing justice for our clients and helping them move forward with their lives.Aggravated Battery Causing Permanent Disability, Permanent Disfigurement, or Great Bodily Harm
Under Florida Statutes section 784.045, you can be charged with aggravated battery if the prosecutor can show beyond a reasonable doubt that you intentionally struck or touched someone against that person’s will, you did this knowingly or intentionally, and you permanently disabled, permanently disfigured, or caused great bodily harm to the other person. Each element needs to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, and in some cases, it is possible to attack one or more of the elements to raise the reasonable doubt necessary to defeat the charge.
Great bodily harm exists when there is something more than the bruises that might be inflicted in a simple battery case. The injuries cannot be slight, minor, or trivial for this type of aggravated battery to be charged. For example, a prosecutor was not able to establish great bodily harm in a certain case in which the victim testified that she was in pain and had burn marks where she had been shot with a stun gun. The court found that in that case, the prosecution had not presented any evidence showing that she needed medical care for the burns or suffered a lasting impact. Similarly, great bodily harm was not established in this type of case when a victim was stabbed two or three times with a fork, resulting in puncture marks, swelling, or scratches, but the victim did not need medical treatment.
Aggravated battery is usually a second-degree felony. This means that you face a very real possibility of 15 years of incarceration or probation, in addition to a $10,000 fine, even for a first offense. These penalties can be harsher in situations in which a defendant has been designated a violent repeat offender. There are different serious designations if you have been convicted of violent crimes repeatedly.
However, there are defenses that may be available, even for repeat offenders. Sometimes it is possible to assert self-defense or defense of others, or perhaps mutual combat. For instance, maybe you were drinking with a friend and got into a fight. The friend then came at you with a pocket knife, and you punched him so that he fell and suffered a facial scar due to the pocket knife. It might be possible for your attorney to argue self-defense or mutual combat.
Generally, you can argue that your use of force was justified against someone else to the extent that you reasonably believed that your actions were necessary to defend yourself against someone else's imminent use of unlawful force. You can be justified in using deadly force, as opposed to merely ordinary force, if you reasonably believed that deadly force was necessary to prevent your own imminent death or great bodily harm, or to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to someone else. Under the stand your ground law, you can also be justified in using deadly force to respond to an imminent burglary. Which of these defenses may offer an appropriate argument depends on the unique facts of your specific case.Seek Guidance from a St. Petersburg Attorney for an Aggravated Battery Case
If you are looking for a lawyer with experience defending against charges of aggravated battery causing great bodily harm, permanent disfigurement, or permanent disability in St. Petersburg, Hanlon Law may be able to represent you. Our founder, Will Hanlon, has been providing dedicated criminal defense representation since 1994. You can call Hanlon Law at 727.289.0222 or complete our online form to arrange an appointment to talk about the details of your situation. We also can assist you if you were charged with battery against a law enforcement officer or other forms of assault and battery.