When most people think of the word “battery,” they picture one person punching another. While this qualifies as battery in Fort Walton Beach or anywhere else in the state, the Florida Statutes also criminalize a wide variety of bizarre actions as battery, both misdemeanor and felony.
Section 784.03 of the Florida Statutes defines battery as an intentional touching of another that either (1) causes bodily harm or (2) is against the other person’s will. This definition is fairly broad, and as such, encompasses a large number of actions that seem fairly minor.
One man was at a local Fort Walton Beach bar when he insulted the bartender. In response, the bartender told security to have the man removed. The man was so upset by being forcibly removed that he spit on the bouncer who was leading him out of the bar. The man was subsequently arrested for battery.
Spitting can be a battery if it is intentional and against the victim’s will, even though it does not cause any form of physical injury. However, accident and other non-intent based defenses, the defense of others, defense of self, and mutual combat defenses still may apply.
After a loud fight between an Okaloosa couple residing in Fort Walton Beach, the wife decided to leave the home to cool down. The upset husband followed her into the yard, pleading with her to stay. When she refused and began to get in her car to drive off, he grabbed her arm from behind and continued to beg her not to leave. The police were called for a domestic violence incident, and the husband was arrested for battery.
Grabbing can also be a battery where it is intentional, against the victim’s will, and without any defenses.
A student at the local community college was taking an exam when her professor accused her of cheating and threatened to fail her. Upset, the student threw her pencil at the teacher. The pencil hit the teacher on the arm but caused no real injury other than a slight red mark. The student was arrested for battery.
Thrown items, even items as small and light as a pencil, can also constitute a battery when done intentionally and without legal justification.
Two Fort Walton Beach men bet on the outcome of the Super Bowl. When the final score was revealed, the winner gleefully mocked his friend, calling him a loser and poking him. The loser, upset by the defeat, angrily told his friend to stop poking him. When the winner refused and proceeded to poke him again in the ribs, the loser called the Fort Walton Beach police. The winner was then arrested for battery.
Though poking seems like such a minor touch, it can be a battery when it is intentional and here, there was no consent defense.
Though hugging is usually synonymous with affection, it can also be the basis for a battery charge. A Fort Walton Beach supervisor was trying to woo his assistant by buying her flowers and chocolates and pressuring her to date him. She told him repeatedly that she was not interested in him and that she felt uncomfortable. One day, he approached her with a gift. She refused the gift and tried to walk away, but the supervisor went in for an unreciprocated hug. He was subsequently arrested for battery.
If there is evidence to show that a hug or affectionate touch is against the victim’s will, it can become a battery.
Defend Battery Charges with a Fort Walton Beach Criminal Defense Attorney who is a Certified Specialist in Florida Criminal Law
If you have been accused of battery, call Stephen G. Cobb. Mr. Cobb is an experienced Fort Walton Beach criminal defense lawyer who is the only criminal defense lawyer in Okaloosa County who is a Florida Bar Certified Specialist. Free consultation. Call (850) 669-5882.
Cobb Criminal Defense Law Firm
1992 Lewis Turner Blvd, Suite 101-B
Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547