An assault charge is serious and you will need a strong defense, but what are the most effective ways to beat this kind of charge? If you’ve been accused of assault, the defenses below could help you win your case.
In many states, assault is a separate offense from battery, but in others, it’s considered the same. Generally, assault means purposely causing someone else to be in reasonable fear of injury or death.
Please note that you don’t have to actually commit assault to be convicted of such. The crime can simply entail you threatening injury so the other person was afraid that an injury would occur.
The burden to prove this crime is often lower because the prosecutor only has to prove that their client was reasonably afraid they would be hurt.
Defenses Against Assault Charges
This defense is used if you can prove that you were not in the area when the crime happened. This defense may be used when the alleged victim misidentifies you as the attacker.
When you discuss the assault case with your criminal defense attorney, they will determine if you can say it was self-defense. This is one of the most common defenses to an assault charge.
To establish that you were defending yourself, you’ll need to show you had a threat of force against you. Also, the force that you used in self-defense needs to be reasonable when compared to the threat you faced.
Let’s say the other party threatened to hit you, then they slapped you in the face. If you punch them back, this could be construed as self-defense. However, if someone threatens to hit you and you shoot them, it could get more complicated to claim self-defense.
Defense Of Property
Some states allow you to defend your property. For example, if you catch someone breaking in your home, you may be able to use force to stop this crime from happening. You’ll need to review the laws of your state with your attorney to determine if this is a viable defense in your case.
Defense Of Others
This defense can be used if you assaulted the other person when they threatened to hurt someone else. For example, if you saw a man attacking a woman on the street and taking her purse, you could reasonably assault the attacker to stop them from committing the crime.
The jury will review the case and decide if you were acting reasonably when the assault happened.
In an assault case, the prosecutor must show that you committed each aspect of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. If they cannot meet this burden of proof, the jury must find you not guilty.
Other Ways To Beat Assault Charges
A skilled criminal defense attorney may be able to find other ways to beat this serious charge. Your attorney may be able to negotiate with the prosecutor to get the charge dismissed or dropped before it goes to court.
In some assault cases, such as a domestic situation, the alleged victim may change their mind after a few days. They might tell the prosecutor that they don’t want to proceed with the case.
However, just because the family member doesn’t want to proceed doesn’t mean the charge will be dropped. Only the prosecutor can decide whether to drop the charges. There have been many cases where the defendant is convicted even after the family member wanted the case to be dropped.
The best thing to do when facing an assault charge is to hire the best criminal defense attorney you can. They will carefully review your case to see if there’s a viable defense strategy to minimize the consequences of the charge, or even get it dismissed.