Can I get jail time for a misdemeanor battery?

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Can I get jail time for a misdemeanor battery?

I am 43 years of age and never got in trouble in my whole life. It was between my son and I and I got jumped from his friends but I got arrested. I am really scared about this.

Asked on December 5, 2010 under Criminal Law, Florida

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

In FL, simple battery is a first Ddegree misdemeanor punishable by 1 year in jail, 1 year of probation, and/or a fine up to $1,000.  Since this is your first offense, you may be able to have your charges "conditionally discharged".  FL offers diversion for first-time offenders. This simply means that you will be released to probation without a trial.  If you successfully complete the probation the charges will be dropped.  If you violate the probationary terms, however, you will be brought back to court and face the original potential sentence.

Since this is a criminal matter you really should have an attorney represent you on this matter.  Perhaps they can get the charge dismissed or reduced (this way you will be eligible for diversion if you should again get into trouble with the law).  See if you qualify for representation Legal Aid (their are income limits) or see if they can recommend someone to help you.  Also, check if there is a law school nearby to where you live; they typically run free/low cost clinics that handle these type cases.  Finally, you can contact the local Bar Association in your county; they may have a list of attorneys who will take your case "pro bono" (for free) or at least for a reduced fee based on your income/circumstances. 

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

In FL, simple battery is a First Degree Misdemeanor punishable by 1 year in jail, 1 year of probation, and/or a fine up to $1,000.  Since this is your first offense, you may be able to have your charges "conditionally discharged".  FL offers diversion for first-time offenders. This simply means that you will be released to probation without a trial.  If you successfully complete the probation the charges will be dropped.  If you violate the probationary terms, however, you will be brought back to court and face the original potential sentence.

Since this is a criminal matter you really should have an attorney represent you on this matter.  Perhaps they can get the charge dismissed or reduced (this way you will be eligible for diversion if you should again get into trouble with the law).  See if you qualify for representation Legal Aid (their are income limits) or see if they can recommend someone to help you.  Also, check if there is a law school nearby to where you live; they typically run free/low cost clinics that handle these type cases.  Finally, you can contact the local Bar Association in your county; they may have a list of attorneys who will take your case "pro bono" (for free) or at least for a reduced fee based on your income/circumstances. 


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