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Possible defenses for assault and battery

If you have been accused of physically injuring someone or attempting to injure them, you may face assault or battery charges. Being charged with a violent crime is serious and could lead to long-term consequences. Many Tennessee residents convicted of these criminal charges face years in prison.

Fortunately, the criminal justice system is based on a presumption of innocence. This means that the prosecution has the difficult task of proving your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt to get you convicted. If they fail to do that, your charges will likely be dropped. While it is the prosecution's job to prove that you committed the crime in question, a solid criminal defense strategy can play a huge part in whether the prosecution is successful in proving your guilt.

In assault and battery cases, one defense will require you to prove that you acted in self-defense. Self-defense requires you to prove there was an imminent threat of force against you and that you genuinely and reasonably feared that you would be harmed. You will also need to show that you did not provoke the other party or cause them harm, and that you were unable to get away from the situation. You may also say that you committed the act in an effort to defend someone else. This is similar to self-defense, except that you need to have a reasonable fear of harm to another person instead of yourself.

In some cases, you may be able to argue that the individual you "attacked" consented to that act. It can be difficult to prove this defense in court, especially because many courts find that even consent does not excuse certain violent behaviors.

If one or more of these defenses are established in court, you may be found not guilty of assault and battery charges and be free to resume your normal life.

Source: FindLaw, "Assault and Battery Defenses," accessed on June 6, 2017

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