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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.
It is in your best interest to get legal help early on in addressing your situation. There are times when hiring a lawyer quickly is critical to your case, such as if you are charged with a crime. It may also be in your best interest to have a lawyer review the fine print before signing legal documents. A lawyer can also help you get the compensation you deserve if you’ve suffered a serious injury. For issues where money or property is at stake, having a lawyer guide you through the complexities of the legal system can save you time, hassle, and possibly a lot of grief in the long run.
A reputable attorney will be very upfront about how he/she will charge you. The three most common fee structures that attorneys use to charge for their services are:
Depending on your specific legal situation, it’s possible that only one type of fee structure is available. For instance, criminal defense attorneys almost always bill by the hour. In a flat fee arrangement, an attorney accepts a one-time payment to help you resolve your issue. With a contingent fee agreement, the client pays little to nothing upfront and the attorney receives a percentage of the money recovered if you win your case.
Affidavit – A sworn written statement made under oath. An affidavit is meant to be a supporting document to the court assisting in the verification of certain facts. An affidavit may or may not require notarization.