Aggressive Driving can Lead to Aggravated Battery Charge
The driver of a vehicle in Florida can be criminally charged and convicted of Aggravated Battery with a Deadly Weapon if the reckless driver purposely crashes the vehicle into another occupied vehicle or into a pedestrian. Because of Florida’s sentencing scheme, when a defendant is found guilty of Aggravated Battery with a Deadly Weapon, the likelihood of imprisonment is certain. Recently, in Palm Beach County, FL and on the Treasure Coast of Florida there has been a rash of these types of crimes. Recently, the appellate court ruled that a driver charged with the serious offense of Aggravated Battery with a Deadly Weapon ought to also have the jury instruction of “Reckless Driving.” Reckless driving in Florida is a Misdemeanor.
Recently in Greenacres, Palm Beach County, FL a mother was charged with ramming her vehicle, while occupied with children, into another’s vehicle. The incident stems from a heated argument that precipitated in a daycare parking lot and then boiled over on the roads of Palm Beach County, FL. The aggressive driver was quickly apprehended, after the incident, and arrested for Aggravated Battery with a Deadly Weapon. One argument likely at trial for this aggressive driver is that she did not intentionally ram her vehicle into the other vehicle and only did so recklessly.
To be convicted of Aggravated Battery with a Deadly Weapon, the prosecutor must show the aggressive driver “did unlawfully and intentionally touch or strike the victim against his or her will, with a deadly weapon to wit: an automobile.” On the other hand to be convicted of the lesser offense of Reckless Driving, the prosecutor must show the aggressive driver “only willful and wantonly disregard the safety of persons or property when he or she drove their automobile in a manner causing the accident.” Obviously, the lesser included offense of Reckless Driving appears inside of the definition of the Aggravated Battery with Deadly Weapon crime. The actions of the aggressive driver are the same because two automobiles struck one another. The difference comes in the Mens Rea or mental intent at the time of the accident caused by the aggressive driver. If the aggressive driver “intended” to ram their automobile into the other’s vehicle, then the charge of aggravated battery may fit. If however, the driver only recklessly caused the accident in the heat of the moment, then the charge of reckless driving will suffice.
In order to have the lesser included offense of Reckless Driving, included in jury instructions of an Aggravated Battery with a Deadly Weapon trial, depends largely on the criminal defense attorney you hire. An experience criminal defense lawyer will shows facts like swerving, break lights, skid marks and other forms of evidence to: First persuade the judge to give an instruction of Reckless Driving to lessen the defendant’s exposure to a felony conviction. Second, the aforementioned facts show the aggressive driver’s lack of intent or intentional act of slamming their vehicle into the other vehicle.
Success for the aggressive driver, on the crime of Aggravated Battery with a Deadly Weapon, must be fully and quickly investigated to determine the beneficial facts and then properly argued in trial to assure the proper jury instructions are provided. Success is determined by who the accused hires!
If you or a loved one is charged with an automobile crime or a crime involving a vehicle in Palm Beach County, FL then you better call the experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer Andrew D. Stine. Criminal Defense Attorney Andrew D. Stine has been defending drivers in Palm Beach County, Martin County, Saint Lucie County, Okeechobee County, and Broward County for over a decade. HIRE STINE OR DO THE TIME!