Some people just itch for a fight. They seem to find relief from the stress of work or their personal lives only when inflicting force on someone else. You may be one of those people, or you may prefer to peacefully co-exist with those you meet even when they contradict or antagonize you.
Whichever describes you, the fact is that you are facing assault and battery charges following a fight at a Pennsylvania bar. A conviction for these charges may result in damaging consequences, including fines, jail time and a criminal record for a violent offense. However, with successful representation, you may be able to defend against these charges.
Potential defense strategies
Because the specific circumstances that led to the altercation will play an integral role in your defense, your attorney will advise you on the best way to proceed. There are numerous options possible for building your defense, but one of the following may apply to your situation:
- You and the other party agreed to the fight: This is a risky defense because the court may determine that the consent of the other person is not enough to justify causing harm. Your defense may also be unsuccessful if you caused your opponent great injury or went beyond the agreed upon parameters.
- You were defending yourself: To effectively use this defense, you must be able to prove that the other person threatened you harm through no provocation from you. If you had a reasonable fear of being injured and had no way of avoiding the confrontation, you may have a valid defense.
- You were defending someone else: As with self-defense, you had a justifiable belief that your opponent was going to harm someone else, and you intervened to protect the other person.
- You were defending your property from invasion, damage or theft: This line of defense may be tricky, and the court will require proof that you used reasonable force to recover or protect your goods.
When establishing your defense, you will need a thorough understanding of the law and how it pertains to your circumstances. The nuances of the law may be difficult to follow, and when something as grave as criminal charges are on the line, you do not want to make a mistake. For many people who face charges of assault and battery, the assistance of an attorney is invaluable. An attorney with experience defending others in similar cases will have the skills to construct a solid defense and protect your rights.