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Aggravated battery refers to an offense where an individual causes physical harm to a victim.
While battery and assault can be easily differentiated (battery involves an elemental requirement that the offender actually makes physical contact with the victim, where assault does not have such a requirement), the differences between battery and aggravated battery can be a little harder to delineate.
Both battery and aggravated battery involve the offender making physical contact with the victim, but aggravated battery charges typically call for the offender having caused serious or grievous bodily harm to the victim during the commission of the crime. Other factors can also elevate battery charges to aggravated battery, such as committing a battery against a person belonging to a protected or vulnerable legal category such as the elderly or infirm, members of the public service or law enforcement or minors, as well as utilizing a firearm or other deadly weapon during the offense.
Aggravated battery is almost always classified as a felony, largely due to the fact that battery is categorized as a violent offense, and aggravated battery is the more severe form of simple battery (which may be categorized as a misdemeanor in certain instances). Certain jurisdictions may classify technical instances of aggravated battery as misdemeanor offenses.
Aggravated battery can result in serious lifelong injury or disability to the victim, maiming or disfigurement and as such it is rare to see aggravated battery charged as anything other than a felony.
At the federal level, although the word battery is not explicitly included, it is clear that assaults involving striking, beating or wounding are worthy of a prison sentence of at least one year. If a weapon is involved, a penalty of up to 10 years incarceration is possible in federal court. More serious assaults/aggravated batteries (with intent to commit murder) could result in a federal sentence of up to 20 years behind bars.
State laws vary in terms of sentencing responses to aggravated battery charges. In some states, aggravated battery is classified as a second-degree felony with a minimum sentence of 21 months imprisonment, a maximum sentence of 15 years in jail and an additional probation period of up to 15 years. A fine of $10,000 may also be included if you are found guilty of the offense. If a firearm was used in the commission of the crime, there is a mandatory 10 year sentence — or 20 years if the firearm was actually discharged during the proceedings, and 25 years if the gunfire caused injury or death.
These ranges are similarly applied in most state jurisdictions with some states leading to 12 and 45 years in jail while other states are a bit more lenient, classifying aggravated battery as a “wobbler” worthy of only up to one year in county jail if convicted of the misdemeanor.
Probation is almost always attached to sentences resulting from either a misdemeanor or felony battery, with the latter having lengthy probationary periods. Court-ordered probation can last anywhere from a number of months to 15 years.
Those looking to avoid probation (or perhaps conviction and a pursuant jail or prison term entirely) should consult experienced legal counsel. Not only can a skilled criminal defense attorney familiar with existing case law and standing precedent concerning aggravated battery cases guide you through the legal process — advising you on whether or not it’s viable to bring your case to trial or to seek a plea bargain -— but you can divulge all material evidence in your possession without fear of reprisal.
A good lawyer can help to reduce the likelihood of a lengthy jail sentence, particularly if the prosecution has a lack of evidence on their side of the legal argument. A conviction in response to aggravated battery charges can create a permanent record.
An aggravated battery criminal offense is a more serious version of battery and imposes a more severe sentence if you are convicted. Contact an aggravated battery defense attorney today to protect your legal rights and receive the best representation available.
The more experienced a lawyer is in legal practice, the more likely he/she will be able to bring about a successful resolution to your issue. Since experience matters, lawyers who have been practicing law for many years (with a successful track record) tend to be in high demand. You should look for information about a lawyer’s experience and ask questions during the initial meeting. It’s a very good idea to ask the lawyer how many years they have been practicing law and the expected outcome of your case.
Specialized legal help is available for most legal issues. Each case is unique; seeking legal help is a smart first step toward understanding your legal situation and seeking the best path toward resolution for your case. An experienced lawyer understands the local laws surrounding your case and what your best legal options might be. More importantly, there are certain situations and circumstances – such as being charged with a crime – where you should always seek experienced legal help.
Prepare for your consultation by writing down notes of your understanding of the case, jot down questions and concerns for the attorney, and gather your documents. Remember that you are trying to get a sense of whether the attorney has your trust and can help you address your legal issues. Questions should include how the attorney intends to resolve your issue, how many years he/she has been practicing law and specifically practicing in your area, as well as how many cases similar to yours the attorney has handled. It can also be helpful to broach the subject of fees so that you understand the likely cost and structure of your representation by a specific attorney and/or legal team.
In general, how much an attorney costs will often depend on these four factors: billing method and pricing structure, type of legal work performed, law firm prestige, and attorney experience. Depending on the legal issue you are facing, an attorney may bill you by the hour, settle on a flat fee, or enter into a contingency fee agreement. The type of legal work you need help with will also play a role in cost incurred.
Personal jurisdiction – Requirement that a particular court have authority over a person, in order to bind that person to the judgment of the court, based on minimum contacts. International Shoe Co v. Washington is a landmark Supreme Court case outlining the scope of a state court’s reach in personal jurisdiction.