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Aggravated Battery on a Pregnant Person

Aggravated Battery in Florida is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.  Aggravated battery is a level 7 offense (it scores 56 points) on the Florida Scoresheet.  This means, among other things, that one charged with aggravated battery in the State of Florida is at a significant risk—even with no criminal history—of going to prison.

An aggravated battery is basically a regular battery (the actual and intentional striking or touching of another person without their consent), where there was serious and/or permanent injury, the victim was pregnant, or there was a deadly weapon used.

Types of Aggravated Battery in Florida


  • A battery causing great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement.


  • A battery where the offender uses a deadly weapon.


  • A battery where the offender knew or should have known that the victim was pregnant.


  • A battery with a firearm.


Does it mean I’m definitely going to prison if may case is bad?

Absolutely not.  Just like any criminal case, aggravated battery charges can be fought.  Even if the case is strong for the prosecutor, there is often still a tremendous amount that can be done to help your case and get you the best deal possible. 

Some things that can result in getting out from under a “prison offer” may include getting the charge amended (or reduced) to a lesser offense (such as felony or misdemeanor battery), a downward departure, filing motions to dismiss or suppress, and/or offering defense mitigation to the prosecutor and/or judge.


Defenses to Aggravated Battery


  • The object wasn’t a “dangerous weapon.”

Possession of a firearm at any time during the course of a criminal endeavor satisfies the statutory requirements of a dangerous weapon.  However, it can depend on the age of the firearm, if it is “antique” it may not qualify as a dangerous weapon. 

In certain cases, whether something qualifies as a “dangerous weapon” will depend upon how it was being used.  For instance, a common pocketknife is not necessarily a dangerous weapon.  However, it may be considered a "dangerous weapon" if it is used in a manner likely to cause death or great bodily harm (such as if it is pointed at one in a threatening manner).

  • There was no Great Bodily Harm, Permanent Disability, or Permanent Disfigurement.

There is no list of injuries that define what constitutes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement.   Great bodily harm generally means “great” as opposed to “slight, trivial, minor, or moderate harm,” and does not include mere bruising.  Thus, proving great bodily harm requires proving more than slight, trivial, minor, moderate, or some harm.  Whether a victim's injury constitutes great bodily harm sometimes involves medical expert testimony and may be a question for the jury to decide.

  • No Knowledge that the Victim was Pregnant

The prosecutor must be able to prove that the defendant knew, or should have known, that the victim was pregnant.  For example, if a defendant and alleged victim do not know each other very well and the victim is not obviously pregnant, then the prosecutor may be unable to prove that the defendant knew, or should have known, that the alleged victim was pregnant.


  • Self Defense

If one is in fear of imminent bodily harm, they have a right to defend themselves—even with violence.  Imminent, in this context, essentially means immediate physical danger.  Sometimes success of a self-defense case will turn on whether the danger the defendant was facing was actually imminent.


  • Defense of Others

A person has the legal right to defend another person if the other person is at risk of imminent bodily harm.


  • Mutual Combat

When two people mutually decide to square off and fight each other, a battery is not committed.  Essentially, by agreeing to fight, the individuals are consenting to bodily contact.


  • An Angry and Vindictive Victim

An angry or spited alleged victim, such as an ex, has every reason to lie to law enforcement and concoct a story for revenge.  In these cases, it is essential to contact an attorney as soon as possible so that the attorney can launch an investigation (find additional witnesses, find surveillance video footage, photograph defensive injuries, etc.).  The more time that goes by, the more chance that it will be difficult, if not impossible, to gather witnesses and evidence.


  • Lack of Injuries and/or Inadequate Evidence

The evidence that the state has is simply not enough to prove a case beyond a reasonable doubt or defense evidence presented to the prosecutor contradicts law enforcement’s version of event.


  • An Unwilling Victim

Prosecutors are much less likely to proceed with a case if the victim is not on their side.  A prosecutor ultimately has to prove a case to a jury.  It is much easier for them to do this if they have a cooperating victim.

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