Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Did someone mention "justice"?

A friend of mine called for a referral to a criminal lawyer. My friend's 20 year old step son had been arrested for battery on his grandfather, with whom he was living.

I know that sounds like a terrible thing to do - striking one's grandfather. No argument there. It has a sort of Biblical edge to it, and not a nice edge.

The stepson was charged with two offenses, which may have been: (a) battery and (b) battery on an elderly person. One reaches the "elderly" category at age 65. I don't know whether the charges were "aggravated".

In Florida, battery is a misdemeanor of the first degree, but when it is upon an elderly person it becomes a felony of the third degree. A first degree misdemeanor has a one year maximum sentence. A third degree felony a maximum five year sentence.

There is also aggravated assault and aggravated battery. An aggravated assault is a third degree felony. An aggravated battery is a second degree felony. A second degree felony has a maximum of 15 years.

But if the aggravated assault or battery is on an elderly person, that gets you a minimum (mandatory) term of imprisonment of 3 years, a fine of not more than $10,000, resitution to the victim and up to 500 hours of community service work. Restitution and community service are in addition to the imprisonment. Adjudication or imposition of sentence may NOT be suspended, deferred, or withheld.


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