A statute is the applicable law in the state of Florida. It defines and determines the ground work for a specific crime. There is a statute in Florida for each individual crime. The Florida statutes provide a specific definition of the particular crime in question. Please note that these statutes have numbers in order to identify one specific crime from another. Therefore, if you are charged with a crime, you must look at the particular Florida Statute number to illustrate yourself with the definition of that crime in particular. Further, from the definition you will gather the specific elements for your crime.
For example, let’s say that you are charged with the crime of Battery. Generally speaking, the definition of Battery is: the intentional and unwanted touching of another person. However, in Florida the definition and analysis you must do to defend your particular Battery case will stem from the specific Florida statute for battery.
Florida statute 784.03 defines Battery as: The offense of battery occurs when a person:
1. Actually and intentionally touches or strikes another person against the will of the other; or
2. Intentionally causes bodily harm to another person.
Based on a literal reading from the Florida Battery statute you can conclude that the elements of that crime are:
- Mens rea: Intentionally
- Actus rea: touching or striking or causing harm
- Circumstances: the touching must be unwanted (without consent)
Pursuant to Florida law, there is a free website where you can access the Florida Statutes and educate yourself about each and any crime in the state of Florida. Please access the link below to find the Florida Statutes, in the search bar you can input the number of your crime/statute. Also, this link gives you access to the Florida Constitution and the laws of Florida.