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Defending against assault and battery charges in Tennessee

Facing criminal charges can be overwhelming no matter what the accusations are. However, assault and battery charges can result in some of the most serious consequences, including long-term jail sentences. Being charged with a crime does not mean that you will be convicted. You could avoid conviction and serious penalties by utilizing a solid criminal defense to protect yourself.

In assault and battery cases, self-defense is one of the most common defenses used by defendants. Self-defense basically says that you assaulted someone else based on the belief that your life was in danger. Establishing self-defense requires you to show that you were facing a threat of illegal force or harm and that you were fearful of harm. The fear of harm must be reasonable in that a reasonable person in similar circumstances would also experience the same fear. In order to use self-defense, you must not have harmed or provoked the person you attacked. You must also show that you did not have any reasonable method of escaping the situation without self-defense. You may also use force to protect others from harm if you reasonably believed that they were in danger.

If you committed assault in order to protect your property, you may be able to use the defense of property defense. This defense may apply if the used reasonable force to defend against an unlawful invasion or theft. However, you typically may not use force to retrieve a piece of personal property unless it was stolen from you personally.

An assault or battery conviction can be severe, but with the right defense strategy you could avoid significant jail time and other consequences.

Source: FindLaw, "Assault and Battery Defenses," accessed on April 10, 2017

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Mathis, Bates & Klinghard PLLC
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