Robert Hambrick Photo 1As a former prosecutor and Pinellas Criminal Law Defense Lawyer, Robert Hambrick rises to the challenge of taking action immediately especially in Battery cases where taking timely action helps to obtain the Best Possible Results. Robert knows the weak points in specific battery charges, the best defenses and how to find the Best Results for your paticular situation.


Robert explains Battery Defenses, lesser included charges, special victims & how to find the Best Results.


  1. Consent. An example of consent to an aggravated battery can be found in the death of the great escape artist and magician Houdini many years ago. At a demonstration of his magic he dared a lady in the crowd to hit him in his abdomen with as much force as she could. She did. Within two days he was dead as a result of the injuries sustained. Clearly, he consented to the touching so there was no legal charge of battery. Mutual Combat is a form of consent. In mutual combat there is implicit consent for a battery case. For example, not only in any heavy weight fight, Ali vs. Foreman or a hockey game, but a bar bet gone bet can invoke mutual combat.
  2. Self Defense. In Florida this is known as the justified use of force, is a defense to the crime of battery to defend yourself against another person’s unlawful attack and is an argument often used in Court cases by Clearwater Criminal Defense Lawyers. In Tampa Bay and Pinellas Florida law gives Floridians the right to use deadly force against intruders entering their homes or vehicles, no longer needing to prove fear for their safety, only that the person who is stabbed, shot with a firearm or even killed intruded unlawfully and forcefully. This makes a defense to charges of aggravated assault, simple battery, aggravated battery or even murder in some recent cases. In the past Florida law and common law required that a person attacked in a public place must retreat if possible. However, the law in Florida as it now stands is that someone attacked in public, “has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force.” It’s important to immediately contact a Clearwater Criminal Defense Attorney to investigate the facts of your case as the law in Florida also forbids the arrest, detention or prosecution of the people covered by the law, and it prohibits civil suits against them.


Clearwater Florida Courtroom photoAll Aggravated Battery cases have lesser included charges embedded within them, known as lesser included charges. Because every aggravated charge must first meet the criteria for simple assault and simple battery.

This means that even if the Pinellas Prosecutor makes a determination that the charge must be filed in the higher aggravated form, it’s still possible at a later time for the charge to be reduced incident to a plea or by legal motion to the presiding Pinellas Circuit Court Judge if the facts do not support the aggravated form or if the charge is taken to Trial the jury will be told in its jury instructions that it may come back with the lesser included offense of simple simple battery.

courthouse-gavel-on-woodYou won’t get a second chance in any allegation of assault and battery in Tampa Bay. Your attorney must act quickly to have your version of the confrontation taken seriously by law enforcement to find the best possible outcome for your case.



There are two types of Battery under Florida law, simple battery and aggravated battery.courtroomhistoric

  1. A simple battery is a first degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison, but in Florida if there is a prior battery conviction of any type even a simple battery will be charged as a third degree felony punishable by as much as five years in prison. As you can see from the statute given below a simple battery is an intentional, unlawful touching or striking another against that person’s wishes or causing bodily harm to the victim. An example of a simple battery from a Clearwater Criminal Defense Attorney would be one person slapping the victim. Local courts in Tampa Bay, Clearwater & Pinellas do not require any bodily harm to result from the intentional touching or striking for a charge to be leveled and sustained by a PInellas or Hillsborough County Judge.
  2. An aggravated battery is a second degree felony punishable by up to fifteen years in prison. It is the same as the definition for battery given above except here the battery must cause ‘great bodily harm’ to the victim. The term great bodily harm under Florida Law as used in Clearwater Pinellas and all of Tampa Bay is broadly construed – meaning that local courts in Clearwater have found that even a broken finger would be enough injury to the victim for a charge to be sustained by a Judge.


courtroomsoutherngavelSome categories of victims receive special treatment under Florida Law which may result in enhanced punishment, stiffer sentences and mandatory minimum jail time.

BATTERY ON A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER, FIREFIGHTER, EMERGENCY MEDICAL CARE PROVIDERS & OTHER OFFICERS Florida Law also has special victims who under the law are treated differently such as Law Enforcement Officers, Firemen and Paramedics or other emergency specialist who receive special treatment as victims under Florida Law.

What would be a simple battery on any other victim becomes a Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer which is a felony. Officers will often file this charge along with Resisting Arrest With Violence when they really want to stick it to a Defendant. These cases can be difficult to defend because it is often just the officer’s word versus the Defendant’s word as to what actually happened. Recently, with the advent of more video taping of arrests from camera phones as well as police cruisers Tampa Bay Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer (also known as BOLEO in police parlance) charges have been successfully defended where evidence reveals that the Officer used unnecessay force agains the Defendant. For an example of how little it takes for a BOLEO, If someone spits on another person it is a midemeanor battery, but if the victim spat upon is an officer then the charge will be a third degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison. Here is the Florida Statute:


courtroommarblelightIn these cases of allegations of Domestic Violence a Tampa Bay or Pinellas County Deputy must make an arrest of one of the inhabitants of a home if there is any sign of violence, for example bruising which is either unexplained or the result of a domestic battery. The law as described above still applies as do all of the defenses described above6. The mere allegation of domestic violence can be a very difficult time for each member of a family whether or not the charge has merit.

Often in Pinellas and Tampa Bay these cases can be referred to a special Domestic Violence Court with the possibility of having the case eventually dismissed; however, an admission of guilt, individual anger management and group counseling may be a requirement so it’s vitally important to contact a Pinellas assault and battery defense lawyer who knows the best solutions for your paticular Domestic Violence situation.

OTHER SPECIAL VICTIMS – Abuse of Pregnant, Disabled or Elderly in Pinellas & Tampa Bay, Florida. As you can see from the Florida Statute below abuse is defined as any intentional infliction of physical or pschological injury upon an elderly or disabled adult and coupled with this statute is the neglect of an elderly person or disabled adult in which a caregiver is accused of failing to render proper care, supervision and services to maintain the victim’s mental and physical heath. Many of these cases are brought about during a Florida DCF investigation.

Upon learning that you may be a target of a criminal investigation for battery conducted by Tampa Bay Police, contact your Clearwater Criminal Defense Lawyer and remember the following:courtroomwoodyellowsunlit

  1. Never discuss the facts about the assault or battery until after you have sought out legal advice from a criminal law defense attorney, because whatever you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.
  2. Remember you are innocent of assault and battery until proven guilty. Don’t let yourself be pushed into saying or doing anything which may come back against you later nor is it a good idea to offer an apology or regrets about whatever happened.
  3. As these assault and battery cases may involve false or exaggerated allegations that are often motivated by some financial incentive or other improper motive, it’s important to act fast for your defense — find a seasoned criminal defense lawyer to help you as soon as possible.