Dr. Smith can be charged with aggravated battery. Aggravated battery, according to s 784.045 of 2014 Florida Statutes, is committed when great bodily harm results, or when deadly weapon is used. Great bodily harm was defined in Coronado v. State 654 So. 2d 1267, 1270 (Fla. 2d DCA 1995) as a "distinguished from slight, trivial, minor or moderate harm and as such, does not include mere bruises as are likely to be inflicted in a simple assault and battery.” Shooting a person’s leg could result in serious injury. However, it is the use of a gun, which is a deadly weapon that clinches the case of aggravated battery against Dr. Smith. Dr. Smith can allege justifiable use of force as a defense against aggravated battery. According to s 776.012 (b) of the 2014 Florida Statutes, the use of or the threatened use of deadly force is justified if the suspect ‘reasonably believes’ that such force is necessary to fend off imminent danger to his life. This provision excuses rather than protects the accused. In this case, Dr. Smith believed that Lisa was becoming unhinged and that she had a gun in her purse which she was about to pull out and use against the doctor. Aggravated battery is a felony of the second degree and carries a sentence of not more than 15 years imprisonment in accordance with s. 775.082 (d).
Dr. Smith can also be charged with medical malpractice or negligence. According to s 766.102, the prevailing standard of care that medical professionals must abide by is “that level of care, skill, and treatment which, in light of all relevant surrounding circumstances, is recognized as acceptable and appropriate by reasonably prudent similar health care providers.” In ingesting vodka before sessions, Dr. Smith failed to practice prudence and reasonable care because alcoholic drinks can cloud one’s perception of reality. The only defense that he can resort to in this case is that her perception was not impaired by alcohol. The case is a civil one for recovery of damages for personal injury and when proven guilty, the victim is awarded a sum of money.
2014 Florida Statutes.
Coronado v. State 654 So. 2d 1267, 1270 (Fla. 2d DCA 1995)