Just before Thanksgiving this year, two men who were roommates and co-workers got in an altercation at the Destin restaurant where they were both employed. The fight escalated and one man pulled out a switchblade and began stabbing the other one. Police were called and the victim was rushed to a Pensacola hospital with multiple stab wounds to his leg, side, hand and wrist.
The man wielding the knife was arrested while still gripping the bloody switchblade. He was charged with aggravated battery and carrying a concealed weapon. These are serious charges and, if convicted, the defendant could be sentenced to many years in prison in addition to having to pay a hefty fine. The penalties will be even greater if he is also convicted of carrying a concealed weapon.
Aggravated Battery: Elements and Consequences
Battery under Florida law means the intentional touching of a person against that person’s will or intentionally causing another person great bodily harm. In order to convict a person of aggravated battery, the prosecutor must prove the defendant, either intentionally or knowingly caused “great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement to another” or, in the course of the battery, used a deadly weapon.
Aggravated battery is considered a violent offense and, in addition to the long prison term if convicted, when finally released from prison, it will be more difficult for those with a criminal record of violent acts to find a job, a place to live or obtain a car loan. Some jobs will never be available. Child visitation and custody may be affected and those convicted of this crime will likely be barred from ever owning a firearm.
If you have been charged with aggravated battery, with so much at stake, it makes sense to find a criminal defense attorney who can help you find your way through the legal system, be sure your constitutional rights are protected and provide you the best defense possible according to the facts of your case.
How a Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help
If you are charged with aggravated battery, there are ways to fight back. You need the assistance of John F. Greene, an experienced Florida criminal defense attorney with offices in Destin.
Depending on the specific circumstances surrounding your case, some defenses may be:
- You were acting in self-defense.
- You were standing your ground and were in fear for your life.
- You had no intent to inflict great bodily harm, disability or disfigurement.
- You did not know your action would result in great bodily harm, disability or disfigurement.
- The weapon was not one capable of causing death so cannot be considered a deadly weapon.
If the prosecutor cannot prove all the elements of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt, you may not need to present a defense.
Recently, a Florida man was acquitted of aggravated battery charges even though several eyewitnesses, including a police officer and the victim, testified against the defendant in court. The jury later said there were not convinced by the evidence that the actions of the defendant warranted an aggravated battery conviction.
Attorney Greene will work diligently with you and together you will decide whether the best course for you is to negotiate for reduced charges and penalties or take you case to trial.
John F. Greene’s 30 years of trial experience will serve you well in the courtroom. Attorney Greene’s office is located in the City of Destin and he serves all those along the Emerald Coast, specifically the Crestview, Destin, DeFuniak Springs, Fort Walton Beach, Niceville and Panama City Beach areas. Contact him online or call 850-424-6833 to schedule a consultation.