Battery / Assault in Pinellas County
St. Petersburg Criminal Battery Lawyer
Battery is a serious criminal offense often arising from heated arguments, alcohol-fueled fights or from the act of defending oneself, another or property. If you have been charged with this crime, there is much that a knowledgeable attorney can do to get your charges dismissed or alleviate the penalties. People commonly confuse the terms "assault" and "battery." Assault refers to acts that threaten physical violence. Battery is actually striking a person — a punch, a shove, a thrown object. There are multiple varieties of battery, including simple battery, felony battery, aggravated battery and sexual battery.
Simple battery is a first-degree misdemeanor. It becomes
felony battery on a second offense, if there is serious bodily harm (e.g., a broken nose) or if the battery involved strangulation (strangling someone).
Aggravated battery can be committed in several ways:
- By intentionally causing great bodily harm
- By using a deadly weapon
- By committing battery on a pregnant person
Sexual battery is forcible touching or
Court-imposed penalties for conviction of battery in Florida include jail (mandatory if there is bodily harm), fines, probation, required counseling and, in domestic violence cases, a permanent criminal record that cannot be sealed.
Former Prosecutor Defending Your Rights
As a long-time prosecutor and criminal defense lawyer, Tim Hessinger has handled every scenario — bar fights, neighbors who come to blows, fathers and sons, confrontations with strangers, and even a minister who pushed a parishioner.
We put considerable emphasis on pre-filing intervention — getting charges dropped or reduced (battery to disorderly conduct, or felony battery to misdemeanor battery). First offenders may qualify for a diversion program that includes 26 weeks of counseling. We may also pursue community control (house arrest) and other alternatives to incarceration.
Defense of all Florida Assault and Battery Allegations
We explore all grounds for challenging the charges:
- Self-defense or mutual combat
- The "castle" doctrine — It is not a crime to defend your home from an intruder.
- The "stand your ground" doctrine — A 2005 Florida law provides that a person does not have to retreat when threatened, provoked or attacked in a public place.
- Mistaken identity or false accusations
- Constitutional issues — Warrants and searches, arrests and Miranda rights
Contact the St. Petersburg criminal defense attorney at The Law Office of Timothy Hessinger immediately at (888) 863-7415 or
send us an e-mail for a free consultation. We defend persons in Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco, and Manatee Counties.