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Can someone accused of assault claim they acted in self-defense?

On Behalf of | Apr 27, 2023 | Criminal Defense

It is illegal to touch someone aggressively or without their consent, and it is also illegal to intentionally put someone in fear for their own safety. Assault charges often result when interpersonal interactions devolve into violence or the threat of violence.

Florida prosecutors may decide to charge someone with assault after an altercation, but not everyone accused of assault had the intent to harm another person. Sometimes, assault charges reflect a misunderstanding of what actually occurred. The person accused was not an assailant bent on criminal activity but rather someone making an earnest attempt to protect themselves or someone else.

Assumptions by the police and lies told by another party can lead to unfair assault charges. Is it possible for someone accused of assault in Florida to mount a viable self-defense claim?

The Florida criminal courts permit affirmative defenses

Not every successful criminal defense strategy involves questioning the evidence or providing an alibi. Sometimes, the individual accused of breaking the law simply needs to reframe how other people perceive the situation. Anytime that someone reasonably fears for their safety or the safety of another person, they may potentially have the lawful right to use physical force to stop a crime in progress or prevent one from occurring.

The location, the parties involved and the degree of force involved will determine what standards apply to a self-defense claim. However, people generally need to show that another reasonable person would also suspect criminal activity or fear for their safety in the same situation. A successful self-defense claim will raise questions about whether or not someone intended to break the law and cause harm to another person by presenting a credible alternate explanation for their behavior.

Those facing charges should explore every option

The details of every criminal case are unique, which means that the best approach to a criminal defense will also differ based on those details. Someone accused of assault in Florida may be able to defend themselves by raising claims that they acted in self-defense, and they may have other viable options for defending themselves as well.

Reviewing evidence and learning about the state statutes that apply can help those who are hoping to successfully fight back against pending assault charges in Florida with the assistance of an experienced legal professional.