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Three Important Assault and Battery Defenses You Need to Be Aware of

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If you are facing criminal charges for assault and battery, you need to retain the services of an experienced Winter Park criminal defense attorney. An assault and/or battery conviction can have life-altering consequences. For example, aggravated assault is third degree felony that may result in a five-year prison sentence, in addition to a monetary fine of up to $5,000.

Your Winter Park assault and battery defense lawyer can investigate the incident and potentially raise multiple defenses, depending on the facts and circumstances of your case. Below is an overview of just some of the possible defenses to assault and battery charges: 

Defending Yourself (a.k.a. self-defense)

If you are being attacked, you have the right to defend yourself. This is a commonly raised defense in the context of assault and battery charges. To prevail with self-defense, there must be evidence indicating you faced a threat of unlawful force or harm, you reasonably perceived fear of harm from the situation, and there was no reasonable chance of retreating or escaping the situation.

There also needs to be evidence that the defense tactics you used were reasonable in the context of the potential harm posed. For example, if you are shoved by someone in a bar, this does not give you carte blanche to respond with overwhelming force (e.g., using a gun or knife).

However, you should also know that Florida became the first state to explicitly expand a person’s right to use deadly force for self-defense, according to Propublica. Deadly force is justified if you are “gravely threatened” in your home or “any other place where you have a right to be.” In fact, a homicide case can potentially be thrown out by a judge before trial commences if there is sufficient evidence of self-defense. The burden is on the state to disprove the self-defense claim in order to bring charges.

Self-defense is often proven through eyewitness testimony, video camera footage, and statements made to police. 

You Came to Someone Else’s Defense

If someone close to you is being attacked, you have the right to intervene and defend them. Nevertheless, like self-defense, there are multiple factors that need to be met in order to prevail on defense of others including your friend, family members, etc. faced a threat of unlawful force or harm, you reasonably perceived fear of harm from this situation, and there was no reasonable chance of retreating or escaping the situation. Also, your actions must have been reasonable under the circumstances. 

Defending Your Property

If you are driving on Lee Road in Winter Park and someone tries to jack your vehicle, you have the right to defend yourself. Similarly, if you are at home and someone attempts to break in, you can defend yourself and your abode. But keep in mind, to prevail with this defense, there must be evidence that you used reasonable force in defense of your property based on the circumstances. 

Contact Our Winter Park Assault & Battery Attorneys Today

As you can see, if you are facing assault or battery charges, you have potential defenses to prevail. This is why, if you are facing assault or battery charges, you need to contact the Winter Park assault & battery defense attorneys of Cotter & Zelman, P.A. Call us at 407-629-4711 or contact us by email to schedule a free consultation.

Resources:

leg.state.fl.us/STATUTES/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0700-0799/0784/Sections/0784.021.html

propublica.org/article/the-23-states-that-have-sweeping-self-defense-laws-just-like-floridas

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