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Presenting a defense to assault and battery charges

Assault and battery charges can result in severe consequences, including substantial jail time and fines. However, many people who are charged with a violent crime are not guilty or have a legally valid argument to justify their actions. If you can plan a solid criminal defense strategy to defend yourself from these charges, the charges against you may be partially or fully dropped.

If you have been accused of assault or battery in New York, you may have acted in self-defense. In order to prove self-defense, you must show that you acted in response to a threat of unlawful force or harm and that you had a reasonable and real fear of harm at the time. You must also show that you did not provoke the person you attacked and that there was no reasonable way for you to escape. If you plan to use self-defense as your criminal defense strategy, it is important to show that you used reasonable force against the person you attacked. For example, if you shot a person for lightly hitting you on the arm, the court may consider your behavior to be too extreme to constitute as self-defense.

The defense of others is also a common assault and battery defense. However, you must prove that you had a genuinely and reasonably feared that the other person would be harmed.

In some cases, you may be wrongfully accused of the crime altogether. In such cases, establishing an alibi may be your best option. An alibi witness is someone who was with you at the time of the attack and can testify that you were nowhere near the scene of the assault or battery when it happened.

Source: FindLaw, "Assault and Battery Defenses," accessed on July 17, 2017

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