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Is there a criminal defense to an assault charge?

| Apr 14, 2017 | Criminal Defense

A number of defenses exist that may mitigate or overcome an assault or battery charge. However, the availability of each defense will turn on whether the facts of the case support its assertion. If a Florida resident fails to prove a defense and support it with evidence, then it may not serve to protect the individual from a criminal conviction. As such, readers who wish to learn how these and other defenses may support their cases are advised to speak with their criminal defense lawyers.

One of the most commonly used defenses to assault charges and battery charges is self-defense. To successfully use this defense, a defendant must prove that they were threatened in such a way that they feared bodily harm, which they did not provoke their alleged attacker and they did not have any other means of stopping the attack. Similarly, a person may claim that they were defending another person if instead of fearing self-harm, the defendant feared that another party was going to be harmed.

In some cases, a person may claim that they harmed another person through assault or battery because they were defending their property. Under Florida law, a person generally may not use deadly force to defend their property, unless they reasonably believed that the attacking party was going to commit a felony.

In rare cases, a defendant may be able to claim the defense of consent, if they can show that the party they allegedly assaulted or battered actually permitted the defendant to take such actions. As with the previously mentioned defenses, readers who have questions about the applicability of consent to their cases should speak with their attorneys.

Assault and battery charges can force a person to face serious penalties, if they are convicted. Therefore, it is to the benefit of individuals facing these accusations to use defenses that may release them from their charges and with the help of criminal defense attorneys, some individuals may be able to have their charges dismissed.

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