Battery Crimes in Pasco County

Under Section 784.03(1), F.S., a person commits the first degree misdemeanor of battery when the person:

  • actually and intentionally touches or strikes another person against the will of the other; or
  • intentionally causes bodily harm to another person.

If a person accused and the alleged victim are related to each other by blood or marriage or because they live together in an intimate relationship, then the crime can be charged as “domestic violence battery.”

Attorney for Battery in Pasco County, FL

If you were charged with any crime of violence, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Sammis Law Firm with offices in New Port Richey, FL.

The attorneys at Sammis Law Firm represent clients charged with battery, felony battery, and aggravated battery throughout Pasco County, FL, including at the courthouse in New Port Richey and Dade City.

Call us to discuss the charges pending against you, the potential penalties for that offense, and the best ways to fight the charges.

Call (813) 250-0500.

How Much Force is Need for a Battery?

In Florida, the courts have found that any intentional touching, no matter how slight, is
sufficient to constitute a simple battery. In other words, the force used to commit the battery need not be sufficient to cause injury.

The court in State v. Hearns, 961 So. 2d 211, 218-19 (Fla. 2007) found that even “nominal contact” can cause a battery.

Penalties for Battery Crimes in Florida

Although most crimes of battery are charged as a first degree misdemeanor, the crime of battery might be charged as a third degree felony if the person accused has one or more prior convictions for battery, aggravated battery, or felony battery

Other types of battery that can be charged as a felony include:

  • aggravated battery; or
  • felony battery.

In Florida, a person can be charged with “felony battery,” a third degree felony, if the person actually and intentionally touches or strikes another person against the will of the other and causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement to the victim.”

Furthermore, the following types of battery offenses can be charged as a third degree felony:

  • domestic battery by strangulation under Section 784.041(2), F.S.;
  • a battery in furtherance of a riot or aggravated riot under Section 870.01;
  • a battery on specified persons engaged in the lawful performance of duties.

The crime of battery may also be reclassified as a higher-level offense if committed on certain persons, or on specified persons engaged in the lawful performance of duties.

Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer (LEO)

Florida law provides for certain battery offenses to be increased in severity when committed against any law enforcement officer or a first responder including a firefighter or emergency medical care provider as explained in Section 784.07, F.S.

Section 784.07(2), F.S., provides that when a person is charged with knowingly committing a battery upon law enforcement officers, firefighters, and other persons while those persons are engaged in the lawful performance of their duties, the offense is to be reclassified as follows:

  • In the case of battery, from a misdemeanor of the first degree to a felony of the third degree;
  • In the case of aggravated battery, from a felony of the second degree to a felony of the first degree (any person convicted of aggravated battery of a law enforcement officer shall be sentenced to a minimum term of imprisonment of five years).

In most of these assault or battery cases, the qualified employee fits within the definition of “law enforcement officer.” Under Section 784.07(1)(c), F.S., the definition of “law enforcement officer” includes:

  • a law enforcement officer;
  • a correctional officer;
  • a correctional probation officer;
  • a part-time law enforcement officer;
  • a part-time correctional officer;
  • an auxiliary law enforcement officer; and
  • an auxiliary correctional officer, as those terms are respectively defined in s. 943.10, F.S.; and
  • any county probation officer; an employee or agent of the Department of Corrections who supervises or provides services to inmates;
  • an officer of the Parole Commission;
  • a federal law enforcement officer as defined in s. 901.1505; F.S., and
  • law enforcement personnel of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission or the Department of Law Enforcement.

Sexual Battery Crimes in Pasco County, FL

The most serious types of battery crimes prosecuted in Pasco County, FL, include sexual battery. Florida law has a variety of sexual battery charges under Section 794.011, F.S.

In general, the term sexual battery means the oral, anal, or vaginal penetration by, or union with, the sexual organ of another or the anal or vaginal penetration of another by any other object. The definition of sexual battery does not include an act done for a bona fide medical purpose.

In some circumstances, the act is deemed to be non-consensual because:

  • of the age of the victim; or
  • of specified circumstances (such as the victim being physically incapacitated).

The penalties for a sexual battery depend on a variety of factors, including whether a deadly weapon is used or the victim is physically incapacitated. Depending on the circumstances, the crime of sexual battery may be punished as a second degree felony, a first degree felony, or a life felony.

Read more about the way crimes of domestic violence battery are prosecuted in Pasco County, FL.

This article was last updated on Thursday, March 24, 2022.