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Defendants have options for assault and battery defenses

When a person is charged with assault or battery, they may have some options for fighting the charges, but these defenses have certain stipulations. The details of an incident can influence whether a defendant is able to use certain defenses. A judge will often look at a defendant's role in an altercation when deciding if an argument applies.

When making an argument for defense of property for assault and battery charges, defense sides need to demonstrate that any acts of physical violence helped them to protect their property in some way. This applies to their homes or personal property such as wallets or purses. Generally, judges don't consider disputes over land as valid arguments for assault and battery.

Defendants have limited ability to argue consent to an act of physical force, but this type of defense tends to be harder to use. Often, judges will apply assault and battery charges even if consent exists if an individual suffers physical harm. A self-defense argument can have limitations too. If defendants argue with or taunt other people, they may have a difficult time arguing self-defense, even if the other individuals threw the first punches. The defense side needs to show that an individual was facing threat of harm from another person, did not provoke the individual and had no legitimate means of escape to be able to use a self-defense argument. This applies to protection of themselves or other people.

Defendants accused of violent crimes such as assault and battery hold the burden of proving they had reasonable cause to use physical force. The extent of violence committed by a defendant can have an influence on a case, and mistaken identity can also change the nature of an assault and battery case. A criminal law attorney may be able to assist clients in collecting evidence in support of an assault and battery defense.

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