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What is Aggravated Battery?

Hillary Flynn
Updated May 16, 2024
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Aggravated battery is a term used in criminal law to describe an act of battery that is more severe than simple battery. Simple battery is the intentional touching of another person with the goal of doing harm, however small the degree of harm actually is. This includes direct touching as well as touching or harming with an object or substance. An act of simple battery is usually considered a misdemeanor. Aggravated battery is indicated when an aggravating factor is introduced to the act. This generally results in a more severe degree of harm inflicted and is usually considered a felony.

Aggravating or enhancing factors may include the involvement of a child, a woman, an elderly person, or a government agent. Instead, it may involve a particular location. Battery occurring in school zones, on public transit, or at other protected places may be considered aggravated battery. Other factors indicating aggravated battery may be the use of a deadly weapon, a hate crime, or serious bodily injury. Serious bodily injury is an injury that involves risk of death, unconsciousness, extreme pain, loss of a limb, or impairment of an organ. The actual presence of a weapon isn't required; the victim must simply believe a weapon was present.

Whether or not an act of battery is designated as simple or aggravated has a significant impact on the level of punishment attached. Since most simple batteries are charged as misdemeanors, if jail time is assigned it will be less than a year. However, a misdemeanor may only result in probation or other smaller punishment, depending on the level of injury and specific circumstances. Aggravated battery is a felony, which typically means the punishment can involve more than one year of jail time. Other punishment may include probation with electronic monitoring, parole, loss of the right to possess a firearm, restitution to the victim, or fines.

Of course, punishment depends greatly on individual circumstances as well as location, since laws vary by state and country. Many who are charged with criminal aggravated battery may also be sued in civil cases. In fact, even those that are not charged with criminal aggravated battery may face a civil suit because intent to do harm is not required. The only requirement is that the touching be without consent. A civil battery case is usually intended to recoup any loss or damages incurred by the victim of the battery.

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Hillary Flynn
By Hillary Flynn , Writer
Hillary Flynn's insatiable curiosity led her to join the MyLawQuestions team, where she contributes well-researched articles on various topics. In addition to her work with MyLawQuestions, Hillary manages an electronic publishing business that allows her to develop her skills in technical writing, graphic design, and business development. With a passion for satirical writing and traveling to historical places, Hillary brings a distinctive voice to her content.

Discussion Comments

By anon948236 — On Apr 29, 2014

If someone is charged with simple battery, bonds out, then they upgrade the charge, do they have to be rebooked?

By Moldova — On Jul 29, 2011

@Mutsy -I can answer that for you because I also had that question. Usually with aggravated assault there is a threat of some kind and there is a use of a weapon.

I think that aggravated battery goes further and it involves a situation when a person causes so much harm to another person that they may be disfigured or develop some type of disability as a result of the battery.

For example, assault could be throwing an object at a person. Aggravated assault would be mugging someone and beating them up for their wallet. Here the person does not want to kill the person just harm them enough so that they can commit the crime.

An aggravated battery is a brawl or a fight that breaks out and depending on the physical damage of the victim, a person might even be charged with attempted murder. Both aggravated assault and aggravated battery are felonies in my state with fines up to $10,000 and jail time of up to 15 years. I hope that clears this up for you. These terms can be confusing.

By mutsy — On Jul 28, 2011

@Sneakers41- What is the difference between aggravated assault and aggravated battery? I am always confused about the two.

By sneakers41 — On Jul 28, 2011

@Subway11 -I was reading that Florida and Iowa have the stiffest penalties in terms of aggravated battery. Both Florida and Iowa have penalties of 15 years in prison for aggravated battery and Iowa goes further by charging a $10,000 fine with ten years probation and one hundred and fifty hours of community service.

I think that more states should have stiff penalties like this because there is a fine line between aggravated battery and attempted murder and people would think twice if the jail term were significant.

By subway11 — On Jul 27, 2011

I wanted to say that I think that there has been a rise in aggravated battery cases lately. We had one case here in Florida that involved the beating of a high school student. A male student almost beat this female student to the point that the girl suffered some brain damage and had to have physical and occupational therapy.

My question is how can something like this happen in a school? How can a student be almost beaten to death like that? The injured student was in a coma and almost didn’t make it. They upgraded the charges to attempted murder and the perpetrator will be charged as an adult in this case. The parents of the victim sued the school and the school board because the schools do have a responsibility to keep our children safe.

Hillary Flynn

Hillary Flynn


Hillary Flynn's insatiable curiosity led her to join the MyLawQuestions team, where she contributes well-researched...
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