Conflicts and fights are an unfortunate fact of human life, it seems. You can’t always avoid a fight, even if you’re the most peaceful of pacifists. But a fight can be more than physically harmful. If it’s taken to the courts, it can put you in legal danger. Not only are charges and prison time a possibility, but it could affect your future employment and living conditions as well. When a fight’s taken to the court, it can get nasty. You have to know how to defend yourself.
If you really weren’t involved
Of course, just because you’re being accused of causing someone harm doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the truth. If that’s the case, it’s all about making sure that the evidence is in the favor of the truth. Help from a battery attorney can assist you in finding that evidence and making a convincing argument. For instance, if there isn’t a shred of evidence to prove your involvement in a fight, then simply pleading the fifth can be enough to ensure that the presumption of innocent until proven guilty stands. An alibi defense proving that you had no involvement in the fight can ensure that there is reasonable doubt of your guilt.
What circumstances were in effect?
If you were involved in the fight, then that doesn’t mean that the case is cut-and-dry against you, either. There are other factors when, if proved, can lighten charges against you or have them dropped entirely. For instance, self-defense is your legal right. But self-defense has to be within reasonable boundaries. Some people, however, misinterpret self-defense. Being goaded into assaulting someone is not the same as self-defense. In self-defense, you have to be of the belief that you are either preventing further harm or that you are stopping a credible and imminent threat. Mental illness can also be a defining factor in the classification and sentencing of an assault, but there needs to be existing proof of such a mental illness.
Your past can be used against you
The facts of the case at hand are, unfortunately, not the only ones that are going to be brought up when a trial is brought the court. For instance, if you have any prior convictions for violent crimes, that can be used to inform the judgment. The far-reaching implications of drug abuse can also have a part to play in the case. If it is argued that you assaulted someone under the influence, evidence of past drug abuse can be used against you. Being under the influence can also be a defense in such a case, but only a few states allow this defense and it is partial. Usually, it only succeeds (if it does) in moving a charge to a less serious one.
The most obvious course of action is to do what is in your power to prevent ever getting into a fight. But when you can’t, it’s important to know that you do have options. Everyone deserves their day in court and the right strategy or advice could help you see the truth in yours.