Many people end up having to defend themselves at some point in their lives. The defense may be in relation to a simple matter, such as untrue rumors or gossip, and in other cases, the situation may be more serious, such as if a person tries to attack another individual and that individual has to defend him- or herself. In the latter case, the scenario becomes much more complicated.
If you found yourself in a physical altercation with another individual, you may have felt that you acted in self-defense. However, when authorities came to the scene, they took you into custody. You may want to immediately assert your side of the situation, but it is likely that you will need to do that in court if formal battery charges come against you.
What is battery?
Under Florida law, battery involves intentional and unwanted physical contact. The law also outlines various types of battery that can come with differing possible penalties. It is important that you understand the exact charges you face, and the following information may help:
- Simple battery involves intentional and unwanted physical contact between the accused person and the victim. This charge is a first-degree misdemeanor and can result in up to 60 days in prison and a fine up to $500.
- Felony battery occurs when a person already has a conviction for battery and a charge with the crime again. A conviction for felony battery could result in up to five years in prison and a maximum fine of $5,000.
- Aggravated battery takes place when a person intended to cause serious bodily harm to another individual or when the altercation involved a deadly weapon. Because aggravated battery is a second-degree felony, a conviction could mean up to 15 years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000.
Understanding the charge you face could play a role in determining how you want to approach your defense presentation. Certainly, if you felt that you acted in self-defense, providing evidence of that claim could be part of your defense. Still, you may want to explore your legal options further and ensure that you find the courses of action with which you feel most comfortable. Reaching out to an experienced criminal defense attorney may allow you to gain reliable information and assistance during this difficult time.