Understanding Two Possible Defense Options For Assault Charges

2 May 2016
 Categories: Law, Blog


Assault charges can be challenging to fight in court, especially when there's little question that the assault actually happened. If you're facing charges with enough evidence to ensure a conviction, it's time to talk with your criminal defense lawyer about the options available to you for contesting the charges. There are a few different methods you can use to justify the incident. In fact, here are a few of the ones you should discuss with your attorney.

You Had An Overwhelming Fear For Your Safety

Self-defense is a common option for defending against assault charges. If you had any reason to fear for your own well-being or the safety of your family, that can be considered a reasonable defense in court. With this defense, you admit to committing the assault but offer justification in the form of your efforts to protect yourself or your loved ones.

You'll only be successful with this defense if you can show that you weren't the initial aggressor. The other party must have been the one to initiate the incident. Your actions must have been in response, and it's best if you had witnesses who can vouch for your story or video of the individual coming after you.

Another catch with this type of defense is that you have to prove that your actions weren't more severe than or significantly more forceful than those you were trying to protect yourself from. As an example, if the individual came at you with nothing more than a closed fist, attacking them with a baseball bat could potentially be considered unnecessary.

Your Judgement Was Significantly Impaired

Cognitive impairment could be a viable defense if you can prove that you were incapable of telling right from wrong at the moment. Whether you were suffering the effects of a head injury that affected your thought processes or you were under the influence of narcotics, if your judgment was impaired, your attorney may use that in your defense. If you can show that you were drugged without your knowledge through lab tests and any surveillance video, that may work in your favor as well. For some people, a chronic condition that impairs judgment, such as a diabetic suffering hypoglycemia from a miscalculated insulin dose or missed meal, is enough to support their defense. If you can show that you were in the midst of a medical emergency that interfered with your judgment, that can be admissible in court as well.

These are only two of many potential defenses against assault charges. Talk with your criminal defense attorney today for more support and guidance. A criminal attorney like those at Alejandro Rivera PA - A Law Firm - may be able to help.