Assault is a very serious crime. Being convicted of this offense can result in both expensive fines and a lengthy jail sentence. If you have recently been arrested and accused of committing assault, it is important for you to know that there are several legal defenses that you and your lawyer can use to help clear your name. Below you will learn more about a few of the most effective defenses to assault and how they may apply to the facts in your particular case.
You Were Defending Yourself Or Others
The law provides you with the right to defend yourself and others against the imminent threat of bodily harm. However, there are limits to your ability to cause harm in an effort to prevent personal harm. For instance, while the law allows you to use the amount of force necessary to subdue the threat, it does not allow you to use excess force.
In most cases, the amount of force that is considered reasonable will be the same amount of force that you were threatened with. Therefore, while you can strike someone with your fist if they have hit you with their fist, you cannot beat this person with a baseball bat when they are unarmed. This type of excess force is considered assault.
If the facts in your case support the claim that you were simply defending yourself or someone else, your lawyer can petition the court to have the charges against you drop on the grounds of self defense.
The "Victim" Consented To The Assault
You may be sitting there wondering why in the world anyone would consent to being assaulted. If so, chances are this is not the right defense for you. However, the fact is, there are many cases in which consent is given. For instance, if you choose to participate in a sporting event that ultimately leads to another participant being injured, you cannot be convicted of assault because the injured party's voluntary participation in the event constitutes consent.
If you had reason to believe that the injured party in your case consented to the activities that ultimately resulted in their injuries, your lawyer can petition to have the charges dropped. However, you should be aware that the court may be reluctant to accept your claims without any proof of the injured party's consent. In this situation, it will be left to the jury to decide whether or not consent was actually given.
A Final Thought
The consequences that follow an assault conviction can easily impact the rest of your life. With so much on the line, it is vital to ensure you are presenting the best possible defense to the court. The first step towards accomplishing this task is to contact a reputable lawyer in your local area to discuss the facts of your case. Consult resources such as Commercial Law at Feltmate Delibato Heagle LLP to learn more about your options.