In Florida, a battery crime is defined as intentionally striking, or even touching, another person against his/her will. This is obviously a very broad definition of criminal activity that can include a lot of conduct, and even harmless conduct. Slightly pushing someone with no injury whatsoever can come under the definition of battery. Domestic battery is a battery against a relative, someone with whom the defendant shares a child or someone with whom the defendant lives or used to live.
A person’s first domestic battery or regular battery crime is a misdemeanor in Florida punishable by up to a year in jail. Battery and domestic battery are two of the most serious misdemeanor charges depending on the circumstances of the case and any injuries caused. However, they are still misdemeanors so the severity of the potential punishments are limited.
If a person has a prior conviction for battery, whether it is a regular battery, domestic battery, battery against a law enforcement officer or aggravated battery, another battery charge of any kind can be charged as a third degree felony. The second battery does not need to be of the same kind as the first. In other words, if a person is convicted of a battery against a stranger and then commits a domestic battery, the second battery crime can be charged as a felony.
Felony crimes are often much more serious than misdemeanor crimes, particularly when the state sees that the defendant has a prior record of a similar nature. For third degree felonies, the maximum penalty is five years in prison.