Assault and self-defense situations can be harmful to another person. If you were hurt by someone and fought back, you may feel that you were acting in self-defense. Many people are surprised to learn that they are in the wrong when they eventually deal with a legal case related to the incident.
What is the difference between assault and self-defense, and how do you know if you are in the right? Assault is considered the act of hurting another person, while self-defense constitutes a legitimate excuse for assaulting another person.
What is Assault?
If you have a gun and you point it at another person, you are committing assault in most states. If you follow through on a threat and hurt the other person, it is considered battery. If you hurt the other person, you are usually at-risk for a legal claim, as it is easier to prove an injury than to claim a “he said, she said” type story. If you threaten violence toward another person, the court may end up finding you guilty of assault and could punish you with a restraining order. Bullying in school can be charged as assault in many legal cases, which might be eye-opening for many youth and teens that threaten others, even if they don’t actually physically hurt the person they are bullying.
What is Self-Defense?
For an individual to make a legitimate case for self-defense, they must be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the other person intended to hurt them first, or did hurt them first. In some states, the verbal threat to hurt another person doesn’t automatically trigger a self-defense case. For example, if someone breaks into your home, and they threaten to hurt you, but do not make a move to do so, you could be charged with assault and battery if you punch or shoot them. However, other states feel that you can use physical force to protect yourself if another person is about to assault you. If you are in a situation where someone assaults you, and you hurt them back, you also much run to safty and call the police, if you just continue to hurt them after they are no longer a danger to you, then you may be charged with assault!
Hiring a Lawyer
No matter what situation you find yourself in, you need to speak to a lawyer about your legal rights. A lawyer will review police reports, and take your statement, along with that of any other witnesses. This will help the lawyer determine if you have a legitimate case, and decide if they should pursue a lawsuit. If you have been charged with criminal assault, you should hire a lawyer immediately. The lawyer will help to build a case based on self-defense to help justify your actions against the other person. For the lawyer to prove a self-defense case, they will need to focus on proving three things: the accused person did not provoke the altercation, impending peril, and no chance of escape. If the lawyer can prove these elements in a court of law, they should be able to convince a jury to rule in your favor. Do your research to find a good personal injury lawyer specializing in self-defense claims. They can help prove your innocence and protect you from additional charges.
This article was written by legal blogger, Dee Bronwinn. Dee loves sharing her love of law thought blogging. Click here if you have been accused of assault or any other crime.