Nebraska Criminal & Trial Lawyers
Navigating a Legal Case Involving Assault and Battery

Navigating a Legal Case Involving Assault and Battery

Criminal cases involving assault and battery are some of the most common criminal cases in the legal system. Partially due to the fact that assault and battery cases are frequent occurrences, in some areas of the country political pressure is mounting to crack down on people convicted of assault and battery charges.

Penalties for those who are convicted could include substantial fines or even prison time depending on the prior record of the defendant. However, not everyone accused of assault and/or battery should be held accountable in such ways. Oftentimes, legitimate defenses to these charges can aid defendants in having the cases against them mitigated or dismissed.

Defense Strategy 1: Self-Defense

The constitution states that people have the right to defend themselves against danger. This could even include using deadly force to protect themselves. Therefore, people should always think about the circumstances of the crime that they're charged with. If they were in imminent danger, then that person generally has the right to use force to defend themselves even if that force would constitute assault or battery under separate circumstances.

Defense Strategy 2: Coming to the Aid of Others

The law also states that someone can use force to intervene and stop an attack on others. Sometimes, people see a friend, spouse, or family member under attack from someone else. Other times, someone might just notice an innocent bystander being attacked by someone else. The law states that someone can come to the aid of these people and use force to fight off an attacker. In this situation, the defense attorney will need to recreate the series of events that demonstrates force was warranted for the defense of others. It is also helpful to have other witnesses who can back up that version of the story. If the intervention was warranted, the assault and battery charge will be dismissed.

Defense Strategy 3: Both Parties were Fighting

This is another common defense used in an assault case. While the result isn't always a dismissal, it could wind up being downgraded to a lesser offense with significantly lesser penalties. Sometimes, people make poor decisions and decide to work out their differences using violence. While this isn't the best decision, common sense would dictate that mutual fighting should be a lesser offense than a full assault and battery case. Just because someone wound up with significantly worse injuries than the other person doesn't mean that mutual fighting wasn't involved. These cases might be downgraded to a lesser charge such as disorderly conduct.

Retaining the counsel of an experienced defense attorney who understands how a specific judge may view any of these defenses is key to mounting the most successful defense strategy possible. As a result, anyone facing an assault and battery charge should contact an experienced legal attorney for assistance in order to explore strategic defense options appropriate to their specific case.


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