An assault charge can result from a variety of situations. Whether an argument, a fight, or an attack, one of the most commonly used defenses in response to an assault charge is self-defense. Fighting back tends to be an automatic reaction when someone is assaulting you. However, it can result in an assault charge, and if you use a weapon or cause severe injuries to the other person, it can result in an aggravated assault charge.
The prosecutor has the burden of proof in assault cases. This means that not only must the prosecutor prove that you committed the crime, but he or she also must prove that you committed the crime with the requisite criminal intent. More specifically, there must be proof that you intentionally harmed or threatened the other person in anger or with malice. If you are claiming that you committed the assault in self-defense, but without any intentions of harming anyone, then it is essential to understand that you must receive a threat of violence to use self-defense against another person. Although you do not have to wait for the person to strike you or throw the first punch, there does need to be a clear threat of violence or to your safety to claim self-defense.
Claiming self-defense can be complicated in some assault cases, especially if you started the fight or were the first aggressor. However, even if you started the fight, but the other person elevated the altercation to use deadly force, then you could use deadly force in self-defense. Mainly, the level of force that you use in defending yourself must be at the same level of the threat of violence against you. No matter the type of criminal law issue you are facing, the skilled and knowledgeable criminal defense lawyers of Peek & Toland are here to assist you. We handle many different types of criminal cases every day and have the kind of strategic experience and skills that are necessary to reach the desired outcome. By calling our office as quickly as possible after your criminal issue arises, we will have the best opportunity to resolve your case successfully.