Assault charges have serious consequences, especially for individuals facing a conviction of an aggravated assault or another type of assault and battery. If you are charged with assault, your lawyer could help you fight to get the charges reduced or dismissed. A criminal defense attorney who is familiar with the laws in California and how they apply to specific situations will be able to review your case and build an effective defense for you.
Defending Yourself Against Assault Charges
The most common defense against assault charges is self-defense. You can use this defense to argue that you were acting reasonably in defending yourself, family members, or other people and that the violence you used was proportional to the threat you faced. If you want to use this defense, you will need to be able to prove that your assailant posed a danger and that you were unarmed at the time of the attack. It is also important to show that you stopped your attack once your assailant no longer posed a risk.
Other defenses to assault and battery charges include claiming that you didn’t have the requisite intent, that it was an accident, or that you were protecting someone else. For example, suppose that you are in a bar and accidentally spill your drink on another patron, which angers him. Later, you see him harassing a young woman and come to her defense. You might claim that you didn’t intentionally assault him, but that you did because you were defending the young woman.
Defending yourself against assault charges requires a strong defense team, including an experienced criminal attorney. Your lawyer will be able to look at the evidence in your case and determine if there are flaws that can be exploited to your advantage. For instance, if there is video evidence that contradicts what you told police, this can be useful to challenge the accuracy of your account of the events. DNA evidence that does not match your fingerprints on a weapon could also be valuable to your case.
Another defense to assault is that you were under duress at the time you committed the crime. This is a complicated defense that involves proving that you were forced to act against your wishes or interest because of threats, force, or other psychological pressure. It can be challenging to make a successful duress defense, but it is worth exploring with your criminal defense attorney.
Other common defenses to assault include consent and drunkenness. In some instances, people can be charged with assault after an injury occurs during sports or in other activities that require physical contact. You can defend yourself against these charges by arguing that you gave implied consent to engage in the activity and that any injuries were not your fault. You can also defend yourself by claiming that you were intoxicated at the time and therefore did not have the ability to control your actions.