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Defending Yourself against an Assault Charge

Defending Yourself against an Assault Charge
February 8, 2019 Tom Clark

Assault is a serious crime in Florida. If you have been accused of it and arrested for it, you should immediately begin to mount your defense. Your first call should be to a Criminal Defense Tampa. There is no time for delay or prevarication. The longer you go without representation the more vulnerable you become to a successful prosecution.

Types of Assault

You may be charged with assault in a criminal or civil case. The criminal is usually the first and most significant of the two, as a successful conviction can deprive you of both money and freedom. The state of Florida recognizes 3 types of assault. They are as follows:

  1. Battery

The criterion for this charge is physically touching another person forcefully. Bear in mind that you do not have to strike or hit a person to be charged with battery. Pushing, shoving and other violent acts are considered battery.

  1. Aggravated Assault

You can be charged with this crime if you threaten to use a deadly weapon to kill someone.

  1. Aggravated Assault

This crime is reserved for those who do significant bodily harm—bodily harm that causes permanent disability or disfigurement. You can be charged with aggravated assault with or without the use of deadly weapon.

It is important to keep these categories and distinctions in mind after your arrest. Your defense will depend greatly on the particulars of the incident that led to it.

Mounting Your Defense

Verbal arguments often get out of hand. This is especially so when you are arguing with a friend, spouse, or love interest. Passion that is perfectly fine to display can spill over into something that is not so appropriate. If you were in the confines of your home during the altercation, a neighbor or passer-by may have mistaken your argument for a physical confrontation and called the police. Such matters can usually be cleared up quickly if you and the other person both make statements verifying that no assault took place.

Things get trickier when your antagonist accuses you of assault. If you did not do it, there are ways to defend yourself against the charge. Indeed, not all charges of assault stand up in court. You do have the right to cause another bodily harm in the following instances:

  1. Self-Defense

If the person who claims to be the victim initiated the physical altercation, pursued you after you walked away, or responded with a disproportionate amount of force, you can claim self-defense.

  1. Stand Your Ground Law

Under this law, you may not have to retreat before defending yourself.

  1. Defense of Others

If you were attempting to protect someone else from harm and had no part in starting the series of events that led to the altercation, you may have a sound defense.

  1. Defense of Your Property

You have the right to use reasonable force to protect your property, especially your home.

Your lawyer will listen to your side of the story and decide which defense is best.