In Palm Beach County, a woman was arrested today for allegedly committing a battery on a bus driver who was over the age of 65.
While a simple battery charge in Florida is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in county jail, Florida Statute 784.08 reclassifies battery when it involves a victim who is over the age of 65 into a third degree felony, punishable by up to 5 years in Florida State Prison and a $5,000.00 fine. Additionally, adjudication cannot be withheld in battery convictions involving victims over 65 years old, which means that pleading guilty or no contest will require a felony conviction on the defendant’s record.
Battery occurs when a defendant intentionally touches or strikes another person (against that person’s will), or when a defendant intentionally causes bodily harm to another person. There are many possible defenses in battery cases, including self-defense. However, in battery charges with a victim over the age of 65, the fact that the defendant did not know the age of the victim is not a defense to the enhancement of the charges.
Anyone facing a battery charge in Palm Beach County, Florida should contact a Palm Beach Criminal Defense Attorney to discuss their defense options.
Casey Reiter is an associate attorney at Stuart R. Manoff & Associates, P.A. in West Palm Beach, Florida, practicing in the areas of Criminal Defense and Marital Law.