Assault and battery charges have serious consequences under Florida law, so it would be a mistake to assume that you can handle this issue on your own. Working with an experienced criminal defense attorney is your best chance to get the charges dropped or reduced. However, you must act quickly in order to build the strongest possible defense.
Possible Defenses in an Assault and Battery Case
The most effective defense depends on the specific circumstances that led to your arrest. The following defense strategies are the most commonly used in Florida assault and battery cases:
- The prosecution didn’t prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. If there were no witnesses to the incident and there is minimal proof of injury, it may be possible to build a defense based on lack of evidence.
- You acted in self-defense. Florida law allows you to use force to protect yourself from death or serious bodily harm. Your use of force must be determined to be reasonable under the circumstances, which will depend on factors such as the size and physical strength of each individual involved and whether there were weapons such as knives or guns present.
- You were defending someone else. You are allowed to use force if you are intervening to protect another individual, such as a child or an elderly person who wasn’t capable of physically defending themselves. As with self-defense, your use of force must be considered reasonable under the circumstances.
- You demonstrated an accidental use of force. Under this argument, you did not intend to cause injury to the person you are accused of assaulting. For example, you may have tripped over an expected obstacle and been pushed towards the alleged victim.
- There was mutual consent. With this defense, you are arguing that both parties understood the risk they were taking and agreed to physically fight. However, you can’t be determined to be the main aggressor if you wish to use the mutual consent defense.
Don’t Put Your Future at Risk
If you’ve been charged with assault and battery, you need to speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. The attorneys of Flaherty & Merrifield Criminal Defense are here to help. Contact us today to talk about your case and discuss the next steps.