What Are the Potential Defenses Against an Assault Charge?

assault charge, defenses, criminal law Assault is a serious criminal charge, and successfully defending against an assault charge requires help from a criminal lawyer near Annapolis. Assault involves any kind of harmful or offensive contact with a person, which is defined as the threat of bodily harm. With the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney, you may be able to successfully defend yourself against an overblown assault charge. Keep reading to learn more about your options, including self-defense, defense of others, and defense of property.

Self-Defense

A criminal lawyer often counsels clients to claim self-defense when someone else threatened to use force or harm against them. If a client truly believed that the other person would harm him, he is entitled to claim self-defense even if he then threatened to harm the would-be attacker. To succeed on this defense, a defendant must not have provoked the other person and cannot have felt free to simply walk away from the situation

Defense of Others

Self-defense is not the only potential defense that can be claimed in regards to an assault charge. Criminal lawyers also put on defense of others claims when clients are forced to threaten another person who is threatening someone else. The defense of others claim is similar to self-defense, except your criminal defense attorney will need to show that you genuinely feared someone else would harm the person you were trying to protect. Additionally, you must have had reasonable grounds for that fear.

Defense of Property

A defendant who has been charged with assault and battery may be able to claim that he acted to protect his property from being illegally withheld or to protect it. As criminal lawyers know, laws in each state vary, so it is important to tell your attorney exactly what happened. However, many states allow individuals to defend their homes against intruders and trespassers. Additionally, some states permit victims of purse snatching or pickpocketing to threaten force to retrieve their stolen possessions.

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