What is Battery?

Battery is simply just the touching or striking of another person against their will. Now there are many different battery offenses based on enhancements for bodily harm, weapons, or prior convictions, however, the basic elements are essentially the same. This article is going to focus on Misdemeanor Battery offense, Battery Prior Offense, and Battery on a Person over 65 Years of Age. 

To prove the offense of Battery the State must prove one of two elements (or can prove both elements beyond a reasonable doubt):

  1. The State can either prove that the defendant actually or intentionally touched or struck the victim against their will.
  2. The defendant intentionally caused bodily harm to the victim.

So, a person can be convicted of a Battery even if the touching did not result in harm whatsoever to the victim, it is legally sufficient to simply show that there an intentional touching or striking and that touching has not consented too

Types of Battery

Probably the most common Battery offense is Simple or Domestic Violence Battery, both are misdemeanor offense of the first degree, meaning the maximum penalty is up to 1 year in the county jail and up to a $1,000.00 fine. The key difference between the two is that Domestic Violence Battery requires a romantic or familial relationship between the defendant and the victim. This relationship would not encompass a parental relationship with a child under the age of majority, as disciplining a child is a defense to the offense of Battery. If the act exceeded the bounds of what could be considered discipline the charge would be Child Abuse. 

The next level of Battery charges is Battery Prior Offense, what this offense is an enhanced Simple or Domestic Violence Battery charge. If a person has a prior battery offense and it does not matter for what (Simple Battery, Aggravated Battery, Felony Battery) then the common Misdemeanor Battery offense because a 3rd Degree Felony, meaning the maximum penalty is up to 5 years in prison and up to a $5,000.00 fine. This prior offense does not have to be a prior conviction, if you received a withhold of adjudication for a Battery offense then you would not have a formal conviction for a Battery Offense. However, the statute governing Battery prior offense has a provision and allows for this withholds of adjudication to be used to enhance what would be a Misdemeanor Battery to a Felony just like a prior conviction would.

Now for a Battery on a Person over 65, the only difference between that offense a Misdemeanor Battery offense is that the person was over 65. Again, no bodily harm needs to have been caused if the State can prove that there was an intentional touching or striking by the defendant against the victim’s will. The defendant also does not need to know, nor does the State have to prove that the defendant knew the victim was over the age of 65. Like Battery Prior Offense, Battery on a Person over 65 is a 3rd-degree felony. Now there are potential defenses that can be raised if you are arrest for a Battery Offense such as self-defense, defense of others, mutual combat, or even consent. 

How Can We Help You?

The attorneys at Meldon Law have the knowledge and experience to help assist, guide, and defend you. If you, a family member or friend has been arrested it is important to speak with an attorney that is not only knowledgeable regarding the law, but also in the options that you may have and the options that each county offers. Call Meldon Law at 352-373-8000 to make an appointment to speak with an attorney for a free consultation.