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Florida Girl's "Game" Lands Her a Battery Charge

A Florida girl who claims she was only playing a game has been charged with misdemeanor battery after the parent of a child involved in the game decided to press charges. The girl and her friends were playing a pinching game in which they would pinch the posteriors of students at school while the students were changing classes. The girl in question apparently pinched the wrong student because, when that student’s mother found out about the pinching incident, the mother told police she wished to press charges. The girl now stands charged of misdemeanor battery.

The “Contact” Requirement in Battery Cases

When most people consider a crime of battery, what comes to mind is not pinching but rather punching. That is, we tend to associate battery charges with fistfights or other serious actions that leave the victim with visible injuries. Unfortunately, however, that is not the way Florida law defines a battery. While certainly punching, throwing an object and hitting another person with that object, and even using another object (like a bat or a car) to hit another person are all examples of battery, the girl’s “pinching” of another student is also an example of battery. This is because the law defines “battery” as actually and intentionally touching another person against that person’s will. It does not matter:

  • How the contact was in fact made;
  • How much pain the contact caused; or
  • Whether the contact resulted in any lasting injuries.

Florida’s battery law is actually broader than other state’s laws. For example, in Kansas a battery offense occurs when there is physical contact made in a “rude, insulting, or angry” manner. Under Kansas’ definition, it is unclear (but doubtful) that the girl would have been charged with battery as there is little evidence available that she meant the contact to be rude or insulting or that she was angry when the contact was made. In Florida, by contrast, the girl’s actions do constitute battery because she did not first obtain the permission of the boy she pinched.

Defenses to Battery

The main defense available to those charged with a battery offense is consent – that is, if the “victim” explicitly or implicitly consented to the touching (assuming he or she had the legal capacity to do so), then a battery would not occur. If the boy and girl were engaged in mutual “pinching,” for example, that might be sufficient to show consent and would absolve the girl of any wrongdoing. This is also why boyfriends and girlfriends or spouses that hold hands, hug, or kiss in public are typically not prosecuted for battery – they have consented to the touching.

If you or a loved one are facing battery charges (whether misdemeanor or felony charges), seek assistance from experienced Florida criminal defense lawyer Jeffrey S. Weiner. The facts of your case matter in preparing and presenting your defense, and Jeffrey S. Weiner knows how to uncover favorable facts and present them persuasively to the court. Contact him today by calling (305) 670-9919 or contact him through his firm’s webpage.

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