What is aggravated battery in Louisiana?

Posted by Jarrett P. AmbeauJan 25, 20240 Comments

What is aggravated Battery in Louisiana?

The crime of aggravated battery in Louisiana is a battery, the intentional use of force or violence upon the person of another, but committed with a dangerous weapon. An experienced criminal defense attorney is the right person to consult if you are being investigated or charged with this crime.

The questions when we are defending this charge, are; (1) was there a use of “force or violence”, (2) upon the person of another; and (2) was it committed with a dangerous weapon. These are the elements of the crime and specifically required in the jury instruction related to the charge:

The defendant is charged with committing an aggravated battery upon [victim] with a [describe the instrumentality alleged to be a dangerous weapon].

Aggravated battery is the intentional use of force or violence upon the person of another with a dangerous weapon.

A dangerous weapon includes any gas, liquid or other substance or instrumentality which, in the manner used is calculated or likely to produce death or great bodily harm.

Thus, in order to convict the defendant of aggravated battery, you must find:

(1) that the defendant intentionally used force or violence upon [victim]; and

(2) that the force or violence was inflicted with [describe the instrumentality alleged to be a dangerous weapon]; and

(3) that [describe the instrumentality] was an instrumentality used in a manner likely or calculated to cause death or great bodily harm.


As complicated as this may seem, the granular, point-by-point analysis is exactly what we do in defense of this kind of charge. The prosecutor has to prove each of these “elements' of the crime, and prove each of the beyond a reasonable doubt. The jury instruction above is the exact question to be answered in a conviction, and as such should be the starting point for any effective analysis of the case.

Any defense of the charge of aggravated battery must start with the end in mind – how do we tell this story to the jury so that its clear there is a reasonable explanation of the facts present, and also includes innocence. How do we tell a story that matches the facts and fails to prove the elements beyond a reasonable doubt and/or the prosecutor fails to rule out the reasonable possibility that the defense stary is in fact the accurate representation of what occurred.

Aggravated battery is a serious charge. A conviction on this charge carries the following possible punishment:

Whoever commits an aggravated battery shall be fined not more than five thousand dollars, imprisoned with or without hard labor for not more than ten years, or both. At least one year of the sentence imposed shall be served without benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence if the offender knew or should have known that the victim is an active member of the United States Armed Forces or is a disabled veteran and the aggravated battery was committed because of that status.

If you, or someone you care about, is facing a charge of aggravated battery you must find skilled legal representation, and quickly. Give us a call at The Ambeau Law Firm, we are here to help.