There a variety of situations in which assault charges can be raised. A recent example occurred when a woman told Denton law enforcement that her boyfriend had pointed a semiautomatic handgun at the woman’s head. The gun, however, never fired off a round. Presenting this information after an argument, the woman described herself as being in a long term dating relationship with her boyfriend, who was not named in the report. The event is said to have occurred while the woman was trying to leave her residence, which resulted in the boyfriend pulling out the gun, loading the magazine, and pointing the weapon at the woman’s head. The woman went so far as to tell law enforcement that she was worried the boyfriend might shoot her. No arrests were made nor charges raised as of the time of the report.
One of the most common types of concerns that are raised in this type of situation include the woman’s fear of being placed in imminent harm. Pointing a gun at a girlfriend or boyfriend is likely to threaten that individual’s sense of safety and create the impression of intent to harm. There are several different strategies, however, that can be used to defend against an assault case, and this article discuss some of those elements.
Common Ways to Defend Against an Assault Charge
Assault is the act of intentionally creating a reasonable apprehension of harm towards another individual. There are several common strategies used by individuals to defend against assault charges. These strategies include the following:
- Defense of Others: This defense occurs when an individual reasonably perceives a risk of harm to another individual.
- Defense of Property: A property in some limited circumstances has the right to use reasonable force to retain or recover stolen property from another individual.
- Inability to Prove Each Element of the Claim: In order for a person to be convicted of assault, it must be proven that the individual actually committed each part of the crime.
- Insufficient Evidence: An assault charge can be dismissed due to insufficient evidence. The most common insufficient evidence defense is an absence of the intent to harm a person.
- Self-Defense: Self defense is likely the most common way that individuals defend against assault charges. In order to successfully argue self defense, individuals must demonstrate a threat of harm from an unlawful force, a reasonable fear of harm, neither aggression or provocation caused the threat, and that no reasonable way to retreat existed.
While these defenses have been known to successfully work against assault charges, individuals should also realize that arguing impairment due to alcohol or drugs that were taken voluntarily will not comprise a successful defense to an assault charge.
Defending Against an Assault Charge
If you or a loved one faces charges related to assault in Denton or the surrounding, consider retaining the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney at Wheeler Law Office who has significant experience helping individuals defend against charges related to assault.
(image courtesy of DaveGinOly)