When Self Defense Becomes a Battery Charge

Everyone has a right to defend themselves using force, excluding deadly force, if they feel that it is necessary to avoid physical harm. But in some cases, the police may be called and the wrong party charged. If you were defending yourself and now stand accused of battery charges, you have rights.

In this brief article, a Tampa battery defense lawyer with The Rickman Law Firm shares what battery charges mean and ways to prove that you were defending yourself and within your rights to do so.

What is Battery and What are the Penalties?

In plain language a battery is an unlawful touching of another against that other person’s will. A simple battery can be anything from a shove to a punch. Simple or misdemeanor battery is defined as the unlawful touching or striking of another person against that person’s will. The crime of simple battery is punishable by up to one year in the county jail and one year of probation. A simple battery can be committed by touching another person, therefore the other person does not have to be injured for you to be charged with battery.

For an example of simple battery in self defense, think of how you might react if someone should start an argument and you feel threatened, or they attempt to steal something from your hands. You might be included to shove or strike them. This is defensible, even if you are charged.

If the person alleging victimhood of your battery is a specified official such as a police officer, EMT, Firefighter, or Probation Officer, you will most likely be charged with a 3rd Degree Felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison unless you can prove self defense or another reason.

Felony battery is the touching or striking of a person against that person’s will and unintentionally causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement to the other person. A Felony Battery is a third degree Felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison. If you inflict great bodily harm, it then qualifies as an aggravated felony battery.

Aggravated Battery with Great Bodily Harm is a second degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison. If you are accused of Aggravated Battery with Great Bodily Harm you are facing a sentence of at least 21 months in prison. A defendant could be found guilty of Aggravated Battery if the person committing the battery uses a deadly weapon, intentionally causes great bodily harm, or commits a battery on a pregnant female.

How to Defend Against False Accusations of Domestic Violence

No matter the circumstances surrounding your arrest, you must take steps to protect your rights. We cannot stress enough the importance of immediately hiring a Tampa battery lawyer with The Rickman Law Firm. We have years of experience working with cases just like yours, a unique understanding of how battery cases are prosecuted, and will be able to pursue all necessary evidence and witnesses to obtain a favorable outcome. Our attorneys will not only look into the event, but will also examine the arrest to determine if your rights were violated.

For a free consultation with a battery lawyer in Tampa, please contact The Rickman Law Firm today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.


Schedule Consultation

Case Results


The Client was charged with felony Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon for pointing a firearm at another citizen. After working with the State, the Client was allowed to enter into a pre-trial diversion program
Show More


The Client was arrested for DUI after being stopped by law enforcement upon leaving a bar. Despite having badly slurred speech and appearing impaired, Attorney Anthony Rickman convinced the State to reduce the
Show More


The Client was cited by the Federal government for Possession of an Explosive Device which Fire Ammunition. During the Pre-Indictment stage, Attorney Anthony Rickman immediately contact the U.S. Attorney’s Office to provide them with relevant
Show More