If you’ve been charged with assault or battery, you’re undoubtedly concerned about your upcoming trial, possible conviction and future livelihood. In the days ahead, it’s absolutely critical that you consult with a criminal defense attorney who can help you navigate the complex legal system and create a strong defense strategy on your behalf.
Whether the charge brought against you is due to misunderstanding, exaggeration or you were simply protecting yourself from the original aggressor, your attorney will make certain these facts are brought to light and you are afforded a fair and just trial. If you are convicted of misdemeanor or felony assault or battery, your attorney will advocate for a sentence congruent with the nature of the offense as well as any rehabilitative resources you may need.
Differences between Assault and Battery
An assault occurs when one person places another person in fear or apprehension of imminent bodily injury. This can take place in the form of menacing threats, throwing a punch (but not actually hitting the intended target) or brandishing a weapon. Battery occurs when a person actually causes bodily injury to another person through the use of force, violence or a deadly weapon.
There are two kinds of battery with which a defendant may be charged: simple and aggravated. Simple battery occurs when a person is successful in causing bodily injury to another person without the force of a deadly weapon or negligently injures another person with a deadly weapon. This crime is usually classified as a misdemeanor and as such carries a maximum jail sentence of less than one year.
Aggravated battery, on the other hand, is often categorized as a felony and carries a much more severe potential penalty. This type crime either involves the use of a deadly weapon to injure another person or occurs under a set of facts revealing the defendant’s alleged extreme indifference to the value of human life, resulting in bodily injury to another person.
Defenses to Assault and Battery
The law recognizes several defenses to the crime of assault and battery, the most well-known being self-defense. As you discuss the facts of your case with your injury attorney, it is vital to include all facts of the incident which may have given rise to your need to defend yourself. Your injury attorney may argue on your behalf that the alleged victim was the actual aggressor and you were lawfully protecting yourself from bodily injury. Another defense, known as defense of others, may be applicable if you were protecting a third person from the threat or imposition of bodily injury. Defense of property is applicable so long as the facts reveal you used reasonable force to recover your stolen property. The law generally condones use of deadly force to recover stolen property. Lastly, if the facts suggest you and your accuser were engaged in some sort of consensual activity, such as boxing or an athletic event, your criminal defense attorney may be able to argue the defense of consent.
Contact an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney Today
The crimes of assault and battery carry potential felony convictions and lengthy jail sentences. If you are in need of thorough and zealous legal advocates to handle your case, contact our criminal defense law firm firm today for a consultation.