There are few situations scarier than facing charges of battery or assault. The New York State Penal Code shows how serious a conviction for these crimes can be.
If a judge finds you guilty, then it is likely that time behind bars will be part of the sentence. Fortunately, there are ways to defend against these charges. To start, you will need a structured defense tailored around the specific circumstances of your case.
While some battery and assault defenses are straightforward, most of them are very complicated. When facing such accusations, a criminal lawyer in White Plains can help build a defense that represents your best interests. Call the Law Offices of Darren DeUrso at 914-772-8614 to discuss your charges in a free initial consultation, and read on to learn about four common defenses against these charges:
New York law gives citizens the right to defend themselves against physical threats, making self-defense a popular defense against charges of battery and assault. However, this can be difficult to prove in court. You have to demonstrate retaliation against an immediate threat of physical danger.
You must also show a reasonable justification for your fear, along with an inability to escape the threat and evidence that you did not provoke the confrontation. Furthermore, you may only use the same level of force used against you.
- Defense of Others
Defending others is similar to self-defense. This strategy involves proving that you only reacted because someone else was in immediate danger and required your protection.
However, the court will require proof that your reaction was a reasonable response to the threat. For example, you can claim defense of others if an athletic male was attacking a defenseless old woman.
- Defense of Property
The U.S. Constitution makes it clear that every American has the right to protect his or her property. However, this strategy is controversial because you may only retaliate within reason.
You can claim defense of property if someone comes into your home uninvited, directly confronts you or refuses to return your property. It is your right to use reasonable force for protection – particularly if you live there.
However, there are limitations to your retaliation. You cannot chase the thief, assault him or her, and steal your property back. Furthermore, the law does not allow you to settle disputes with force, such as who is the rightful owner of an object. As an example, you may not harm someone for forgetting to return your cell phone or for owning a videogame console that is similar in appearance as yours.
Consent is a common defense for assault and battery because consensual activities frequently become dangerous. More prevalent in sexual assault cases, consent also applies to other scenarios, such as sword fighting.
If your actions occurred with the consent of your accuser, then a guilty verdict is unlikely. However, if the accuser originally consented to your actions yet you took it further than his or her comfort zone, then a judge may still find you guilty.
If you would like to start building a defense against your particular charges, call the Law Offices of Darren DeUrso at 914-772-8614 to speak with a criminal attorney.