Assault charges can be brought out of any number of unfortunate incidents including bar fights, arguments at sports events, and altercations in social settings. No matter what level of charge is brought and what the potential fine or jail time is, assault charges are very serious because they are considered crimes of violence that could be disqualifying for employment or apartments. If you've been charged with assault, there are a few defenses that you may have.
In some cases, you may actually be completely innocent. The police could have pulled the wrong person out of the crowd, a witness might have pointed to the wrong person, or you might closely match the description of the actual perpetrator.
In cases of actual innocence, you might want to try to prove your innocence even though the real burden of proof is on the prosecutor. You could find an alibi witness who can confirm you were somewhere else or have people that witnessed the incident testify that you weren't the person you saw.
Tracking down video evidence from security cameras, cell phones, and other sources can also be useful since the police often won't do a thorough investigation if they think they have an eyewitness.
Sometimes, you might actually be guilty but the prosecution has no evidence. If they can't meet their legal burden of proof, they might try to convince you to take a plea deal instead of having the case go to trial.
Common examples might be where a witness decides they don't feel like going to court to testify, surveillance videos weren't clear, or the witness's description of events doesn't meet the legal definition of assault. Have your defense attorney thoroughly review the evidence to determine if you have a strong chance of winning in court.
Conduct that constitutes assault might be excused if it was done in self defense. In that case, you can't be criminally convicted.
Self defense is an affirmative defense which means that you have to prove that you acted in self defense, that you didn't use more force than necessary to end the conflict, and that you didn't start the altercation.
If you need a criminal defense attorney to help you beat an assault charge or if you just want to learn more about the possible defenses to an assault charge, contact a local criminal defense law firm like Law Offices Of Timothy J Ormes.