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How can you defend against an assault charge?

| Feb 3, 2021 | Violent Crimes |

Any assault conviction will come with severe legal consequences. A criminal record could affect future employment, education and housing prospects. A prison sentence can be harmful to your physical and mental health and severely affect your family. You may also have fees or damages to pay.

Mounting a defense is essential to your future — no matter what evidence there may be against you.

What are some common defenses to assault charges?

However overwhelming you feel the case against you is, there are many defense options to assault charges. Here are some: 

  • The allegation is untrue: People accuse each other of all sorts of things for all kinds of reasons. For a court to convict you, they need to be sure beyond a reasonable doubt that what the other person says is true.
  • Mistaken identity: When an eyewitness identifies you, it can be challenging to convince a jury they are wrong. Yet, multiple studies have shown that eyewitnesses often are mistaken.
  • Self-defense:  You will need to show the other party was threatening you or had already attacked you. You could also claim you were defending someone else or your property.
  • It was an accident: Just because you hurt someone does not mean you intended to. Accidents of all sorts can happen. 

Remember that the prosecution may try to increase the charges against you. For instance, if they argue some kind of prejudice incited the incident, the consequences could be much more serious for your future.

Every assault case is different. The only way to discover the best course of defense for your situation is to seek legal advice. Even if you cannot get the charges against you dropped or overturned, you may be able to reduce them.