29th Aug 2017
Battery is defined under Florida law as inflicting the unwanted and offensive touching on another, as a criminal defense attorney in Broward County can explain. However, there are certain defenses that may apply in battery cases, such as self-defense. A criminal defense attorney in Broward County can explain how this defense works and what must be proven to avoid conviction.
Self-defense is an affirmative defense that admits a battery occurred but says that it was legally justified. This defense is available in cases where the defendant reasonably believed that the conduct was necessary in order to self-defend or defend someone else due to the threat of imminent harm or unlawful force. In Florida, the defendant does not have to try to flee the situation before being able to defend oneself. Additionally, if the defendant was attacked in the residence or vehicle belonging to him or her, the law presumes that the defendant had a reasonable fear of harm.
In order to raise this defense at trial and for the jury to receive a special instruction about self-defense, there must be some evidence to support the defense, even if the evidence is very weak. If there is evidence of self-defense, the jury receives a self-defense instruction before deliberating. When the jury considers self-defense and the battery charge, it considers what a reasonable person have done in the same circumstances. The prosecutor has the burden of proving that self-defense was not present by proof beyond a reasonable doubt.