The comments from a nearby restaurant patron angered you. You tried to ignore him, but the vitriol kept spewing out of him. Yes, this is the time of COVID-19 with the need to social distance, but also a time where strong opinions seem to overtake regular conversations.
You exchange words with him and almost immediately regret it. The two of you stand up, push comes to shove and then you come to blows, shocking the rest of the patrons at this outdoor dining area. The result: You are arrested and charged with assault. Now you need to figure out how to overcome this criminal charge.
Self-defense and defending others
What type of defense can you formulate to successfully come through the legal process in the best scenario possible? This situation involved a violent attack potentially leading to misdemeanor or felony criminal charges. You face jail, probation, fines along with paying restitution. You also have opened yourself up to a civil lawsuit.
Working with an experienced criminal defense attorney is your first step toward finding a resolution. Among the strategies to consider in addressing these charges include:
- A self-defense situation: Perhaps you faced an aggressor who initiated the physical violence, forcing you to defend yourself.
- A justifiable act: Perhaps you feared serious injury or even feared for your life. Then these were justifiable actions in dealing with an aggressor.
- Defending others: In coming to the aid of another person, you have another potential defense.
- Reasons tied to duress: You had no choice but to commit this unlawful act because you feared the realistic threat of serious bodily injury or death from another individual.
- Unintended consequences: Although someone was hurt, you did not intend to cause harm to that person.
No doubt that a criminal conviction brings personal and professional harm to you. And since assault is a violent crime, the judge will take a deep look into the circumstances of the charges. Consider the best approaches in dealing with them, seeking a dismissal, acquittal or a plea to lesser charges.