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Detroit Legal Blog

Using Self-Defense in an Assault Case

May 19, 2017, by Maurice Davis in Criminal Defense, Legal Blog

If you find yourself in a threatening situation because of another person’s behavior, then your physical response might be justified. Using self-defense in an assault case can help explain the danger you faced, the fear you felt, and why you needed to protect yourself.

Davis Law Group possesses the knowledge and skills to help you if you are charged with assault yet were simply defending yourself. Attorney Maurice Davis knows how to help the court understand the difference between self-defense and assault, and that can help you overcome your charges. Call (313) 818-3238 for a confidential consultation.

The Difference between Self-Defense and Assault

What might typically be considered a violent crime could be defensible if you were trying to safeguard yourself from harm. Self-defense is the right to protect yourself from another’s force or violence when there is an imminent threat of physical harm. This can include offensive words in which a threat is made against you.

Assault, however, is commonly considered an intentional attempt to injure a person, including through threats and threatening behavior. It can also be described as attempted battery, with battery defined as non-consensual, offensive/harmful touching of a person. Assault means there was the intent to behave in a dangerous way that scares, frightens, or intimidates another person.

A Self-Defense Argument in Court

Using self-defense in an assault case generally requires establishing to the court that there existed:

  • A threat that a person was about to hurt, to attack, or to unlawfully touch you as well as
  • A need for you to use force to protect yourself from that person.

A self-defense argument could be made in court if you did not instigate the incident. If, for example, a person threatened to hit you, lunged at you, and/or raised either fists or a weapon at you, then it may be reasonable that you had to strike the person to protect yourself. Even if you were involved in the initial instigation of the incident yet attempted to end it by walking away, a self-defense argument might be made if the other person threatened you.

Keep in mind, however, that your self-defense must have matched the level of threat against you, meaning that you can only have applied as much defense as needed to remove the threat. For instance, a threat of minor force should not have been matched by force that results in extremely serious injury or death.

Contact Davis Law Group for Help

You should not be convicted of assault if your actions were simply to protect yourself from a person who threatened harm and danger. If you find yourself with criminal charges, then Davis Law Group can help you by offering the guidance and counsel you need. Contact us at (313) 818-3238 to schedule a free consultation.