A New York resident can be charged with assault or battery if they cause harm to another person. However, these incidents sometimes occur during an altercation that was started by the other individual. There are four main defenses for assault and battery that may be utilized: self-defense, the defense of others. consent and the defense of property.
In order to claim self-defense, the accused person must prove that they were in fear of the other person or that they perceived that another person meant to harm them. Additionally, there must be evidence that the accused person was unable to remove themselves from the incident. While not as common a defense, the accused person may also potentially claim that they perceived fear of harm to others who may have been involved in the incident. For both of these defenses, it is imperative that the accused person establish that there was a perceivable threat of harm.
In some cases, the accuser may have consented to their involvement in the act that led to the assault and battery charges. It can often be difficult to prove that consent for a specific act was given; further, the court may scrutinize the case to determine if the act went beyond what the accused person was granted permission for. Finally, the accused person may argue that they were simply defending their property, particularly their home.
Because assault and battery cases often have no proof beyond both the accuser’s account of the events and the accused person’s statement, someone who has been accused of assault or battery is recommended to seek legal advice from a criminal defense attorney. The attorney may potentially put together a strong defense by demonstrating that their client was at risk for suffering harm.