Can You Beat Assault and Battery Charges?
Were you charged with either assault or battery and need to beat the charges? These are some of the most complex laws in the U.S. law system. And the odds aren’t in your favor. Minor crimes can only result in a fine, but serious charges can lead to imprisonment.
If you’re facing your court date, you’re probably wondering if you can beat your charges. While removing these charges isn’t easy, there are ways to craft a good defense with the help of a criminal defense lawyer.
Assault and battery charges aren’t easy to beat, but it’s possible. If you’ve been charged with either assault or battery, here’s what you need to know about winning your case in court.
The Severity of Your Assault and Battery Charges
Assault and battery charges are determined by the severity of your case. Here are some common causes of either charge and how they’re judged in court.
If you threatened another person before a violent crime was committed, this can be considered assault. A threat can be written, verbal, physical, or electronically submitted. Most assailants threaten another with intent to harm them.
If you threatened another without harming them, you can argue that you did not harm them and your threat was ambiguous. This will make it more difficult to prove your case in court.
The intent of the assault can also be taken into consideration. Most intent is causing injury or harm to another person. But you can argue you had other intents.
For example, you can argue your intent was not to cause bodily or physical harm. This can increase your chances of your charge getting dropped.
Legal vs. Illegal Contact
Many actions tied to battery and assault are illegal, but some are perfectly legal.
For example, let’s say you didn’t hit the other but you raised your fist. While this is seen as threatening, this action is legal. Yelling is another good example. It’s threatening behavior but is still legal, especially if there were no threats.
What if you had physical contact, but you jabbed them with your finger? Even though this falls under physical contact, jabbing with the finger causes little physical harm.
While stalking doesn’t always fall under the assault blanket, in some cases it can. It depends on how the victim determined your stalking behavior. Stalking causes the victim to feel fear and distress.
If your stalking includes threats to harm or engage in any non-consensual behavior, your case can fall under assault.
The best thing you can do in this situation is to prove you never stalked and threatened the victim.
Gaining the victim’s consent is another way to win both battery and assault charges. For example, let’s say your victim charged you with sexual assault.
At the beginning of the sexual acts, your victim consented but later didn’t consent. You can use this fact to your advantage.
The Victim’s Behavior
You can also use the victim’s behavior to your advantage. Were they acting in an offensive, threatening, or reckless manner that caused you to act out?
Common Defenses to Assault and Battery
Now that you know the ways you can win your case, your lawyer will likely compile a specific defense. Here are some of the most common defenses used to win an assault or battery case.
This is the most common defense used for many assault and battery cases.
Proving self-defense is challenging but can be powerful enough to beat assault and battery charges.
In order to prove self-defense, you must show:
- A real or perceived harm to yourself
- Any threats received
- You did not make a threat
- No chance of escaping the situation without violent force
Every situation is different. If you can prove you had no choice but to act out violently, you have a solid defense.
Defending Others or Property
Defending yourself isn’t the only defense you can claim. What if someone threatened to harm a loved one and you stepped in the way? What if someone trespassed on your property?
You have to treat this defense similarly to defending yourself.
Gather evidence to prove there was real harm to another or a threat on your property. If you assaulted a trespasser, you must prove they were on your property and they were in the wrong.
While the US court system is 99.973% successful at catching the right person, there’s a small percentage of people who were falsely accused of committing a crime — some of which are on death row.
If this happened to you, you had to prepare a powerful defense to prove you did not commit assault or battery.
This includes gathering evidence and educating yourself on assault and battery charges. It’s also best you don’t speak and let your lawyer handle everything.
What if there’s no way to prove your actions were legal, consensual, or out of defense? Pleading insanity is rarely used, but it’s an option.
Insanity varies by state. In Louisiana, the M’Naughten Rule is used. This means the defendant can’t distinguish between right and wrong because of a “disease of the mind.”
What if you successfully claimed insanity? You’re not completely off the hook but your punishment will be reduced. You’ll either be admitted to a psychiatric facility or your charges will be decreased, resulting in a reduced prison sentence.
Assault and Battery: Were You Charged in Louisiana?
Assault and battery charges are serious and can be difficult to drop. In order to beat assault and battery charges and reduce your sentencing, you need a powerful criminal lawyer on your side.
Every situation is different. No physical interaction, threats, consent, and legal actions are factors the court will take into consideration. There are also common defenses you can claim, such as self-defense.
If you can, you can plead insanity to prove you didn’t know your actions were criminal.
Are you looking for a criminal lawyer in Louisiana for your battery or assault case? We have superior experience serving many defendants. Contact us today.