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Do I have to actually touch someone to be charged with simple battery?

Tampa criminal defense attorneys are often asked about simple battery because it is a very common charge and often involves normal folks making a simple, onetime mistake.   Florida Statute Section 784.03 defines simple battery and provides the potential maximum sentence for the charge.  The above-referenced situation most commonly occurs when someone swings a closed fist at someone and hits their shirt, jacket and or hair.  It raises two (2) important issues for Tampa criminal defense attorneys to consider.

First, there does not need to be an actual touch of someone.   Battery can be charged for knocking something out of someone’s hand, like a cell phone or glass.  The object that is struck must be intimately connected to the victim.  It is worth noting that destroying someone’s cell phone can result in additional charges for preventing someone from getting help from law enforcement.

Secondly, many times a “swing and a miss” can be more appropriately charged as assault.  While television crime dramas always use the phrase “assault and battery” together, assault is simply the act of putting someone in fear.   Tampa criminal defense attorneys most often see assault charges occurring when someone makes threats towards another and/or the infamous “swing and a miss” punch at someone.

It is worth noting simple battery charges can be enhanced to a felony, if someone has a previous conviction for simple battery.  As you can imagine, this is an incredibly frustrating way to become a convicted felon considering this could simply be from two (2) simple, quick mistakes.   As we have discussed elsewhere on our blog, Tampa criminal defense attorneys are often able to successfully defend these cases based on a multitude of different issues, including issues of identity, self-defense, intent, etc.  Additionally, we have discussed “stand your ground” elsewhere in our Tampa criminal defense attorneys, which can be utilized in simple battery cases.

If you or someone you know has questions concerning simple battery charges, contact the Tampa criminal defense attorneys of Hackworth Law for a free case consultation.   Our Tampa criminal defense attorneys have defended many of these cases, including many jury trials, if necessary.  If you wish to contact one of our Tampa criminal defense attorneys immediately, please use our “contact us now” tab in the upper right hand corner of our website.  We appreciate your time in checking out of Tampa criminal defense blog.