Legal Defenses for Assault Charges

If you have recently been charged with assault, you may feel unsure about your future. Getting convicted of assault carries serious penalties, such as jail time, fines, and a permanent criminal record. However, that doesn’t mean all hope is lost. If you hire an experienced criminal lawyer to handle your case, he or she may be able to come up with a viable defense. Here are several common legal defenses for assault charges.


Self-defense is a common legal defense used in assault cases. If you truly believe that you were in danger and your actions were necessary to defend against injuries, your lawyer may decide to use this defense. In order to use this defense in court, you must prove that you reasonably believed that you were going to be hurt and only used the amount of force necessary to protect yourself against danger.

Defense of Property

Some states allow you to fight back against someone attempting to steal your property including your vehicle, jewelry, and money. If you want to use this defense in court, you have to show evidence that you believe there was an immediate threat to your property and you only used a reasonable amount of force to defend that property.

Defense of Another Person

If you had to use force to defend a family member, friend, or another person against danger, you could use that as your defense strategy. For example, if someone tried to hurt your relative, you could use a reasonable amount of force to protect him or her.

Mistaken Identity

If you were charged with assault because you were mistaken for someone else, you may use the mistaken identity defense. It’s possible that witnesses thought that you looked like the actual culprit and may have mistakenly identified you. In order to get your name cleared, you will have to have an alibi for the time the assault occurred.


Consent may also be an available defense for assault. Generally, if a person has consented voluntarily to a certain act, then that act can’t constitute assault. For example, a theater act that takes place in a public space could be mistaken as a real fight.

Consulting with a Criminal Lawyer

If you were recently charged with assault, it’s important to speak to a qualified criminal attorney, like a criminal defense attorney in San Francisco, CA, as soon as possible. He or she can assess your case and come up with the appropriate defense strategy. Your lawyer will also provide protection against police, help identify key witnesses, and gather important evidence. Call a criminal lawyer today to set up a consultation.

Thanks to The Morales Law Firm for their insight into some of the legal defenses for assault charges.