One of the most common defenses used against criminal charges of
assault involves alleging self-defense. While many other defense strategies involve
denying the assault occurred or questioning whether the elements of an
assault are present, self-defense is different in that it affirms that
the act of assault was committed but seeks to justify it as a necessary
means of combating the assaulted party’s threatening behavior. But
under what circumstances is a self-defense strategy valid?
In order to establish a claim of self-defense, the following elements must
- You must have been exposed to a threat of unlawful force or harm
- You perceived a real, reasonable, and honest fear of harm to yourself
- You did not provoke the victim’s aggression
- You were unable to retreat or escape the situation
For example, say you were confronted in an alley by Adam, an intimidating
stranger, who shouts threats at you and starts running towards you in
a threatening manner. Frightened and unable to escape, you punch Adam
in the face and run away while he is stunned. In this situation, self-defense
would be a valid defense option. Conversely, it would be more difficult
to allege self-defense if a physical altercation were to occur after you
and Adam bumped into each other and threatened to beat each other up,
as it can be argued that you provoked Adam’s aggression.
In addition to these limitations, self-defense doctrines mandate that the
use of force used by the defending party must be proportionate to the
threat. In other words, you may only use as much force as necessary to
stave off the danger. For example, the use of deadly force may not be
used if your life is not threatened. Deadly force is allowed to stop a
home intrusion in some states, though setting traps to catch a burglar
or thief is not permitted.
Powerful Assault Defense in Las Vegas
Regardless of the specifics, accusations of assault are extremely serious
matters which require the expertise of a knowledgeable attorney in order
to be successfully defended against. If you have been charged with assault,
contact our award-winning Las Vegas criminal defense lawyer at the Law
Offices of David R. Fischer today. Backed by numerous
positive client testimonials and a “Superb” Avvo Rating for professionalism and skill,
we have what it takes to help prove your side of the story and guard your
rights against the prosecution’s claims.
Schedule a free case review or call (702) 866-9864 today to get started.