Aggravated battery with a deadly weapon is simply a battery that is enhanced from a misdemeanor to a felony because it has been alleged that the victim has been struck with an item that could cause death or great bodily harm. Great bodily harm under is distinguished from slight, trivial, or moderate harm that may be caused by a simple battery. J.L. v. State, 60 So. 3d 462 (Fla. 1st DCA 2011). The State sometimes likes to think that any weapon used qualifies as a deadly weapon. That is simply not the case and criminal defense lawyer at Adam L. Bantner, II can help you challenge the State’s evidence.
The crime of Aggravated Battery is found at Fla. Stat. 784.045 It states:
(1)(a) A person commits aggravated battery who, in committing battery:
1. Intentionally or knowingly causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement; or 2. 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.
Aggravated battery is punishable by up to 15 years in prison and scores 56 points (absent a downward departure or plea bargain, crime scores a minimum of 21 months in Florida State Prison.
Simple battery is the mere act of intentionally touching someone against their will. An essential element of the offense of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon that the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt is that the object used to commit the offense is a deadly weapon. Wolfork v. State, 992 So. 2d 907 (Fla. 2d DCA 2008). As alluded to earlier, the courts have defined a deadly weapon as: (1) an instrument that will likely cause death or great bodily harm when used in the ordinary and usual manner contemplated by its design. Michaud v. State, 47 So. 3d 374 (Fla. 5th DCA 2010); or (2) an object that is used or threatened to be used in a way likely to produce death or great bodily harm. Brown v. State, 86 So.3d 569 (Fla. 5th DCA 2012). For example, a heavy bookend could be considered a deadly weapon if it is used to bludgeon someone over their head.
Courts have likewise found the following objects to not be deadly weapons: a fork when used to stab someone in the back, C.A.C. v. State, 771 So. 2d 1261 (Fla. 2d DCA 2000), a plastic fork used to stab someone in the neck, J.L. v. State, 60 So.3d 462 (Fla. 1st DCA 2011), and a stun gun D.C. v. State, 567 So.2d 998 (Fla. 1st DCA 1990). As you can see, it is important to fight every element of the charged crime.
Whether the weapon used is “deadly” is extremely important. Even if a jury finds that a defendant did batter the victim, if the weapon is deemed “deadly” by the jury the conviction is elevated from a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail, to a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison. In addition the possibility of a much greater period of incarceration, you will be subjected to up to five years of probation, a $5,000 fine, increased court costs, and the stigma a felony conviction and the loss of civil rights that comes with such a conviction.
Adam L. Bantner, II will help you fight an aggravated battery charge by aggressively challenging the State’s evidence through the discovery process, witness depositions, and skilled litigation. Because so much is at stake, we will work tirelessly to secure the best possible outcome in your case. Call 813.416.7965 today for your free consultation!