What Are Possible Defenses Against Assault and Battery Charges?

Criminal Lawyers Newark

What Are Possible Defenses Against Assault and Battery ChargesIf you have been charged with an assault and battery crime, you might wonder what you can do to reduce the charges and thereby, the overall potential penalties.

Defenses that could be available in an assault and battery case will greatly vary depending on the facts and circumstances. No two assault and battery cases are the same. Some are considerably complex and others are more or less straightforward. The following information from our criminal lawyers is based on the assumption that the elements of an assault and battery case exist.


This is the most common defense used by Newark criminal lawyers. To establish self-defense, it must be shown that:

  1. A threat of unlawful harm or force existed;
  2. The defendant was genuinely afraid of being harmed;
  3. The defendant did not provoke the situation or harm the opponent first; and,
  4. There was no reasonable chance to escape the situation.

Example: Tom is confronted by Joe, a large, imposing stranger, who is making threats and lunging at him with his fists. Tom is scared and strikes Joe. Tom makes an immediate dash to a public area where he calls the police. Joe is caught, but he is injured and presses charges for assault and battery against Tom. Tom maintains his innocence and consults a criminal lawyer as soon as possible. His lawyer may try to argue that Tom acted in self-defense under antagonizing circumstances.

Using self-defense as a defense mechanism in assault and battery cases has proven to have limitations which can be explained in further detail by a knowledgeable lawyer.

Defense of Others

This type of defense is similar to self-defense; however, the difference is that the defendant must have had a genuine fear of the other person. Limitations do apply, and a lawyer must show reasonable grounds for the defendant’s fear.

Defense of Property

It is possible for a defendant to claim that he acted only in his or her defense of their property from being stolen or invaded. Whether or not this defense is available will depend on the state and the case’s factors. In general, an individual is allowed to use reasonable force when protecting their home from being invaded. In the matter of stolen property or a dispute over personal property, this defense may not be appropriate.


Depending on the state, criminal lawyers in Newark might argue consent as a defense to charges involving assault and battery. This might only be used when an individual has consented to partake in a particular act. This act then could not constitute as assault and battery; however, if the extent of the act exceeds the victim’s permission, it could be grounds for assault and battery charges.

Example: Joe and Tom decided to partake in a viral social media challenge that involved hitting one another with an object to see who would back out of the challenge first. Joe hit Tom and instantly broke his nose. Tom quit the challenge. A lawyer might argue that the decision to hit one another was mutual; therefore, assault and battery did not take place. If Joe continued to hit Tom even after Tom left the challenge, Joe could be charged and this defense would not be applicable.

Get Skilled Help to Against Assault and Battery Charges

Assault and battery charges are serious and can have a long-lasting impact on the defendant’s life. It is advisable to retain one of our criminal lawyers Newark clients depend on who can find evidence that establishes facts in your favor; thereby, could reduce or drop the charges against you. Call Rispoli & Borneo to get started.