Assaults & Batteries

If you have been in a fight or any type of physical altercation, the first thing you should do is to take pictures of any injuries, no matter how small or insignificant you think they are. If you can, also take pictures of any injuries suffered by other people involved in the fight and of any property damage before anything gets repaired. If you were in a fight, it is very important for you to take down names, addresses, and phone numbers of witnesses. Why do all of this? Because proof of your injuries might be crucial to proving self-defense.

Assaults and batteries are usually charged as misdemeanors. However, any incident that involved the use of a deadly weapon or resulted in significant injury is generally charged as a felony.

Frequently Asked Questions About Assault and Battery Cases Q: What is the difference between an “assault” and a “battery”?

A: An assault happens when a person reasonably thinks he is about to be hit by another. A battery happens when a person is actually hit or offensively touched.

Q: If I was defending myself is that considered “self-defense”?

A: It is permissible to use reasonable force to defend yourself.

Q: Is it a crime if I was defending someone else?

A: It is permissible to use reasonable force to defend someone else. If charges are brought against you, you would have a convincing case if the person you were defending is available and willing to be called as a witness on your behalf. If you have been in a fight or any type of physical altercation, you must get the names and contact information of any witnesses that were present.

Q: Does the case never get filed if the other person involved in the fight said that he/she won’t “press charges”?

A: Many cases have been filed despite an alleged victim’s willingness to “drop the charges.” Once formal charges have been filed, only the District Attorney’s office has the power to dismiss the case. However, an experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorney can convince the District Attorney that justice is better served by dismissing this type of case.

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