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Michael A. Gottlieb, P.A.
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Keep your hands to yourself to avoid battery charges

Growing up, many people were told to keep their hands to themselves. This basic kindergarten rule can also help keep adults out of legal trouble. If you keep your hands, feet and anything attached to you to yourself, you aren't likely to have to face the court for a battery charge.

In Florida, battery is either a misdemeanor or a felony charge. The circumstances determine which way the charge is classified

A battery charge means that you struck another person against the other person's will. For example, if you walk up to someone in a parking lot and strike him in the face, you could be charged with battery. But, if you accidentally roll over someone's foot with your grocery cart, it will likely be viewed as the accident it was.

Another element that must be present in a battery case is that you must have meant to cause injury to the person you struck. Using the previous example, striking someone in the face means you wanted to hurt that person, but the grocery cart accident wasn't done with an intent to injure the person's foot.

People who have already been convicted of battery in a prior case might face a felony charge if they are charged with battery again. This brings a new level of seriousness to the charge.

One possible defense to a battery charge is to make your side of the story known — self-defense could apply here. However, you should only decide on a defense option once you have considered what meshes with the circumstances of the case.

Source: Online Sunshine, "Assault; battery; culpable negligence," accessed Aug. 18, 2017

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