Special Education Student Charged With Florida Aggravated Battery

Jacksonville’s youth, particularly those who are disadvantaged mentally, do things that are violent and offensive. However, just because they have done something of this nature does not mean that they intentionally did it, nor does it mean that they are bad children. If one’s child has been charged with an offense such as this, one should contact an experienced attorney to fight for one’s case.

An eleven-year-old New Port Richey special education student lit a middle school child’s pants and arm with an aerosol can, the Florida-Times Union reports. The special education student lit a body spray stream on fire and aimed for the victim in the boy’s bathroom at the school. The offending child has been subsequently charged with aggravated battery. White_lighter_with_flame.jpg

Jacksonville juvenile crimes cases tend to air on the side of the intentional, as most cases involve a teenager who commits a crime such as a battery or other type of offense such as criminal mischief. However, occasionally, intent can have major pull on whether the offense charged will be the offense the juvenile is convicted of.

The accused child in this case has been charged with aggravated battery which is a second degree felony under Florida Statute 784.045. For a person to be convicted of the crime, one must have intentionally or knowingly caused great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disability, or uses a deadly weapon. The statutory language will play a great role in whether this child will be convicted of the crime he was charged with, even more so in the plea deal that the State will most likely offer the child.

Some of our city’s mentally disabled children do not understand the consequence s of their actions. This lack of understanding allows for an experienced Jacksonville attorney to provide a defense to a child like this’ actions. In this particular case, an experienced attorney could argue that the child did not understand that the make-shift torch he created could cause bodily harm.

Further, under 784.045, permanent bodily harm or permanent disfigurement is required. In this particular case, the child that was hurt did not suffer permanent bodily harm or disfigurement from what can be gleaned from the article. What can be discerned is that the child’s pants caught fire and the child’s arm hair was singed off. Even though the child’s burns are unfortunate, the fact is that the child’s hair will grow back and no permanent damage was done.

Finally, under 784.045, if permanent bodily harm or permanent disfigurement is not satisfied, then the battery must have occurred with a deadly weapon. This may be a slight bit tougher for the attorney to beat, but may still be able to be beaten nevertheless. An attorney could make the argument that the lighter and aerosol can by themselves are not deadly weapons, and if the court allows this child to be found guilty because they believe the make-shift torch to be deadly weapon, then the court would be walking down a slippery slope to allowing pens or other objects to be considered deadly weapons when their common purpose is contrary to what they are being called.

Many times, the State Attorney’s Office will see a case like this as an easy every-day case to walk through and be done with, and will charge it as such. However, this is a mentally disabled child that they are dealing with. That child has rights that should be protected. An experienced Jacksonville juvenile crimes attorney can and will protect those rights.


The Forbess Law Firm has been aiding clients who face criminal charges in Jacksonville for more than a decade and are here to provide aggressive criminal defense to anyone accused of a crime. If you or a loved one require a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer, contact our firm today. We are available through our website or by calling us at 904-634-0900.

Additional Source: Tampa-area special education student set on fire, CBS affiliate reports, Nicole Hernandez, The Florida Times-Union