What Is the Difference Between Simple and Aggravated Battery?

Being accused of any crime is serious. The combination of penalties, including fines and jail time, can impact both your future and that of your family.  In fact, some crimes remain on your personal record, making finding a job or renting a home challenging.

Knowing this, understanding the crime of which you have been charged is important. Legal language can be complicated, and those without industry experience may not comprehend what important terms mean.  Among the terms that are often confused are simple battery and aggravated battery. While they may sound similar, there are important distinctions in both the crimes and the potential repercussions

Wondering what the difference is between simple and aggravated battery?  Take a moment to review the information shared below.

Simple Battery vs. Aggravated Battery – They Are Not the Same Thing

Simple Battery Is a Misdemeanor

Crimes are categorized as misdemeanors or felonies.  Misdemeanors are those which are less serious. In Florida, simple battery falls under this umbrella.

You may be accused of simple battery if you unlawfully touch another person, without their consent.  Examples of simple battery include aggressive physical actions including, but not limited to, hitting, pushing, punching, or grabbing someone. Quite often battery charges result from fights between two people.

Additionally, if you throw something at another person and hit them, you can also be charged with a simple battery. It is important to understand that simple battery encompasses nonconsensual, offensive touching.

Aggravated Battery Is a Felony

While simple battery is a relatively minor crime, at least on the surface, aggravated battery is very serious.  In fact, in Florida it is a second-degree felony.

Aggravated battery occurs when someone purposefully causes significant injury (great bodily harm), permanent disability, or disfigurement to another person.  Battery with a deadly weapon is also characterized as aggravated.  Examples of aggravated battery include, but are not limited to:

  • Punching, kicking, or hitting someone resulting in serious physical injury or disfigurement (either temporary or permanent)
  • Shooting or stabbing someone
  • Hitting another person with a firearm.

The gravity of these actions is clear – it is no surprise that being charged with aggravated battery is so concerning.

Battery in Florida Is a Serious Crime

An Explanation of Possible Sentences for Those Found Guilty

If you find yourself charged with battery, of any type, you have good reason to be concerned.  Those convicted face fines, probation, prison time and often irreparable damage to their reputation.  These penalties are far-reaching, impacting not only the individual convicted, but quite often their families as well.

Those convicted of simple battery face misdemeanor charges.  If found guilty, punishments can include 12 months of probation, one year in prison, and a $1,000 fine. If the accused has been charged and convicted of a similar crime in the past, the charges can be raised to a third-degree felony. Crimes of this nature do not have a minimum sentence, but the maximum is 5 years in prison, 5 years of probation and fines of up to $5,000.  In some cases, depending upon the injuries sustained by the victim, restitution may be ordered.

It is no surprise that the punishments for aggravated battery in Florida are significantly more severe than those for simple battery.  Individuals who are convicted find themselves facing a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison and fines of up to $10,000. These are life-changing consequences.

In some cases, the penalties can be even harsher.  For example, if the victim of the aggravated battery was a member of law enforcement, the charges can be raised to a first-degree felony.  If convicted, the fine remains the same, but the maximum jail time is 30 years.  This crime also has a minimum sentence of five years in jail.

Facing Battery Charges? Engage a Seasoned Criminal Defense Lawyer.

They Help Protect Your Rights and Build Your Defense

If you have been charged with battery (either simple or aggravated) or believe you will be, engaging a reputable criminal defense lawyer should be your first course of action.  You likely don’t know what to expect, which is not uncommon. The legal process is complicated, and its impact can be significant.

According to the law, those accused are innocent until proven guilty. But even the seemingly minor misdemeanor charges of simple battery can have a very real effect on your life.

Your battery attorney can explain the legal process to you, protect your rights, review evidence, build a defense, negotiate with the prosecution, and represent you in court.  Common defense strategies for both simple and aggravated battery can include:

  • Self defense
  • Lack of Intent
  • Existence of consent
  • Lack of physical contact.

A skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney will be able to identify the best choice for your particular situation.

Representing yourself, even if you are innocent, is a risky strategy.  You simply don’t have the knowledge and experience to appropriately protect yourself and your future.  Do your research and align yourself with a Tampa criminal defense attorney on whom you can rely.

Taracks & Associates Is Ready to Go to Work for You

We Know How to Address Charges of Simple and Aggravated Battery

If you have been accused of simple or aggravated battery in Tampa, reach out to the skilled and experienced criminal defense attorneys at Taracks & Associates. We have been providing high quality defense services for those in and around Tampa for well over three decades.

Led by founding attorney Barry Taracks, the firm is committed to advocating for its clients. We leverage our knowledge of the law and the local court system to provide those we represent with the highest quality service.

We are well known for our commitment to our clients and our compassionate approach to service.  Our team works hard, every day, protecting the future of those we represent. Time is a valuable commodity.  Reach out to us today at 813-281-2897 for a free consultation.  During this meeting we will review the facts of your case and share how we believe we can best help you.

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