Ocala Criminal Defense Attorneys Choose the Powerful Defense of Dunham & Ingram

Despite an Easy Legal Standard, Battery Can Be Difficult for the Government to Prove

The crime of misdemeanor battery occurs when a defendant either:

  1. Intentionally touches or strikes another person against their will; or
  2. Intentionally causes bodily harm to another person.

A battery arrest is a common result when police are called out for service. Police have probable cause to make an arrest for battery when an allegation is made by one person that any unwanted touching occurred. For an officer called out to a complicated situation, this can be an easy way to resolve a dispute.

A conviction for misdemeanor domestic violence battery has very serious legal consequences. A first degree misdemeanor is punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of $1,000. Unlike most crimes, this conviction also carries a minimum mandatory sentence. A person with no criminal record who is convicted must, at the very least, be sentenced to one year of probation, pay very expensive court costs, and attend a six month long class unless the court makes a special finding that the class is not appropriate. A person convicted of domestic violence battery is also prohibited from possessing a firearm. If a person convicted of domestic violence battery is later convicted of possessing a firearm, that person faces up to ten years in federal prison. Finally, any conviction for battery can serve as an enhancement in order to turn any subsequent charge of battery into a felony.

It is critical to avoid a conviction for battery, if at all possible. This can be challenging, since the government only has to prove to a jury that a simple, unwanted touching occurred. The government does not need to prove injury in order to sustain a conviction.

Fortunately, there are many strategies that a creative and proactive criminal defense attorney can use to avoid a conviction. Only certain relationships qualify in order to turn simple battery into domestic violence battery. One can prevent most minimum mandatory requirements of sentencing by avoiding the domestic violence enhancement. Additionally, self-defense and necessity can be asserted as affirmative defenses to battery. Finally, the credibility of witnesses against the accused due to intoxication, reputation for dishonesty, or any other reason can also cast serious doubts on the strength of the government's case.

If you are accused of battery, hiring a creative and proactive criminal defense attorney immediately can have an enormous impact on how your case is resolved. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation about your case.