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Published On: Thu, Nov 18th, 2021

5 Ways To Get An Assault Charge Dismissed

An assault charge is a serious charge, and you can do years in prison if convicted. But with the help of your criminal defense attorney and the methods below, you might be able to beat the assault charge. 

Assault Definition

A key to overcoming an assault charge is understanding what it means in a legal sense. There are two types of assault: simple and aggravated. Your criminal defense attorney will go over these details with you to determine whether you committed assault. 

Simple assault means that you intentionally, recklessly, or knowingly harmed someone physically OR threatened to do so. This means you may be guilty of assault even if you just threatened to harm another person, but it depends on the circumstances and words used. 

Aggravated assault means you seriously injured someone, or you threatened someone with a deadly weapon in the commission of the assault. 

All it takes to commit aggravated assault is to brandish a bottle or object, and you can be charged and possibly convicted. 

A ‘serious injury’ varies by state, but it usually means impairment or loss of an organ or body part, permanent disfigurement, death, or serious risk of death. 

Photo/Nodar Kherkheulidze via wikimedia commons

Self-Defense

The most common defense to an assault charge is self-defense. This means you and your lawyer must prove that the assault you committed was allowed because you were defending yourself from death or serious injury. 

You must show another person harmed or threatened to hurt you to be legal to commit violence. 

Note that while you are allowed to defend yourself, it cannot be taken to extremes. Generally, you should use the minimum amount of force required to make the person retreat. 

For instance, if someone pushes you in a store, you can push back to make the other person retreat. But you can’t attack the aggressor with an object and cause serious bodily harm. 

Mistaken Identity

In the chaos of a fight, it’s possible the plaintiff confused you with someone else. For example, if a disagreement occurs in a bar with low light, the plaintiff might not recognize the person who assaulted her. 

If there are circumstances where the aggressor’s identity is in question, your attorney will probably use this defense. 

Defending Others

You have a legal right in most states to defend other people from harm or threats of harm. Depending on the case, you may be allowed to stop a crime in progress and commit violence if others were in danger. 

Defending Property 

Some states allow you to use force to defend property, but not all. You need to discuss with your attorney if this situation applies. 

For example, in Texas, you can use force to stop a burglar from stealing your TV or jewelry in your home. But this doesn’t apply to every state. 

Consent

Occasionally, the person who accuses you of assault may have consented to your actions and changed their story.

Accident

There are cases where an assault was simply an accident. In this defense, you admit you hurt someone, or your words or deeds were seen as threats. But you did it accidentally and didn’t mean to cause harm. 

However, if there is video footage of what happened, it’s possible this defense won’t work. Remember, the outcome of any assault case often hinges on the skill of your criminal defense attorney.

An assault charge is serious, and it will change your life negatively if you’re convicted. But with the assistance of a criminal defense attorney, there’s hope you can beat the charge. 

Author: Anna Johansson

On the DISPATCH: Headlines  Local  Opinion

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