Types of Battery
A simple battery in Florida can be either a “touch and strike” battery or a bodily harm battery. A touch and strike battery does not require physical injury, but merely an intentional touching against the will of the other person. In other words, a push alone can be sufficient to convict someone of misdemeanor battery. A simple battery is a first degree misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in the county jail. There are numerous ways in which a battery can be aggravated and the punishment will change:
- Second or subsequent battery. A felony of the third degree, punishable by up to 5 years in prison.
- Felony Battery: intentionally touching a person and causing great bodily harm or domestic battery by strangulation. A felony of the third degree, punishable by up to 5 years in prison.
- Simple Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer. A felony of the third degree, punishable by up to 5 years of prison
- Aggravated Battery: battery using a deadly weapon, or an intentional battery intentionally causing great bodily harm, or a battery against an individual who is pregnant. A felony of the second degree, punishable by up to 15 years in prison
- Aggravated Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer. A first degree felony punishable by up to 30 years of incarceration with a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years of incarceration
Simple Battery – Fla. Stat. 784.03
The offense of battery occurs when a person: Actually and intentionally touches or strikes another person against the will of the other; or Intentionally causes bodily harm to another person.
Jury Instruction 8.3 (link will download)
Felony Battery – Fla. Stat. 784.041
A person commits felony battery if he or she:
(a) Actually and intentionally touches or strikes another person against the will of the other; and
(b) Causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement.
A person commits domestic battery by strangulation if the person knowingly and intentionally, against the will of another, impedes the normal breathing or circulation of the blood of a family or household member or of a person with whom he or she is in a dating relationship, so as to create a risk of or cause great bodily harm by applying pressure on the throat or neck of the other person or by blocking the nose or mouth of the other person. This paragraph does not apply to any act of medical diagnosis, treatment, or prescription which is authorized under the laws of this state.
As used in this subsection, the term:
- “Family or household member” has the same meaning as in s. 741.28.
- “Dating relationship” means a continuing and significant relationship of a romantic or intimate nature.
Jury Instruction 8.5 (felony battery, link will download)
Jury Instruction 8.5(a) (domestic battery by strangulation, link will download)
Aggravated Battery – Fla. Stat. 784.045
(a) A person commits aggravated battery who, in committing battery:
- Intentionally or knowingly causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement; or
- Uses a deadly weapon.
(b) A person commits aggravated battery if the person who was the victim of the battery was pregnant at the time of the offense and the offender knew or should have known that the victim was pregnant.
Jury Instruction 8.4 (aggravated battery, link will download)
Jury Instruction 8.4a (aggravated battery on a pregnant person, link will download)
Simple and Aggravated Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer – Fla. Stat. 784.07(2)(b), 784.07(2)(d)
Whenever any person is charged with knowingly committing an assault or battery upon a law enforcement officer, a firefighter, an emergency medical care provider, a railroad special officer, a traffic accident investigation officer as described in s. 316.640, a nonsworn law enforcement agency employee who is certified as an agency inspector, a blood alcohol analyst, or a breath test operator while such employee is in uniform and engaged in processing, testing, evaluating, analyzing, or transporting a person who is detained or under arrest for DUI, a law enforcement explorer, a traffic infraction enforcement officer as described in s. 316.640, a parking enforcement specialist as defined in s. 316.640, a person licensed as a security officer as defined in s. 493.6101 and wearing a uniform that bears at least one patch or emblem that is visible at all times that clearly identifies the employing agency and that clearly identifies the person as a licensed security officer, or a security officer employed by the board of trustees of a community college, while the officer, firefighter, emergency medical care provider, railroad special officer, traffic accident investigation officer, traffic infraction enforcement officer, inspector, analyst, operator, law enforcement explorer, parking enforcement specialist, public transit employee or agent, or security officer is engaged in the lawful performance of his or her duties, the offense for which the person is charged shall be reclassified as follows:
(b) In the case of battery, from a misdemeanor of the first degree to a felony of the third degree.
(d) In the case of aggravated battery, from a felony of the second degree to a felony of the first degree. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any person convicted of aggravated battery of a law enforcement officer shall be sentenced to a minimum term of imprisonment of 5 years.
Jury Instruction 8.11 (simple battery on a LEO, link will download)
Jury Instruction 8.13 (aggravated battery on a LEO, link will download)