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Got in a fight? You could face assault charges

Imagine that you are in a bar where you are swept up in a lively argument. You are frustrated that the other person won’t leave you alone and threatens you multiple times. You ask them to leave you alone, you even try to leave.  But none of these strategies get you out of trouble.  You have had enough.  In a split second decision, you strike at the other person, they fight back, someone calls the police, and you find yourself in handcuffs just a few minutes later.

You are later informed that you will be facing charges for assault and battery. The other person wants to press charges and says that you attacked them.

What is an assault charge?

A simple assault occurs when a person attempts to harm another person (or actually does so—that’s battery). You may face an aggravated charge if you used a weapon, caused a severe injury or because of other factors. There are different kinds of assault charges. Some might include:

  • Assault with a deadly weapon
  • Aggravated assault for attacking a teacher, police officer or another protected individual
  • Assault and Battery (1st, 2nd, or 3rd degree)
  • Simple assault

In this hypothetical case, you fought with the other person because you felt threatened yourself. You asked the other person to leave you alone, but they wouldn’t. That sort of scenario can lend itself to multiple defenses (self defense, the defense of necessity, etc.). Talking to an attorney early on can help you understand how your actions are defendable under the law.

If the other person was not badly hurt, that will also help your case. A prosecutor will have a much harder time prosecuting a case where the alleged victim cannot prove that he/she was harmed.  Similarly, injuries that match the story that a victim tells law enforcement can go a long way to help the prosecutor prove their case.

Every case is different. Some end up in this situation due to poor choices, while others are truly victims themselves.  Contact an experienced attorney today to start developing a strategy to best serve you in court.