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Could self-defense lead to needing a criminal defense?

If you have found yourself on the cusp of criminal proceedings due to a leveling of assault or battery charges against you, you may feel overwhelmed. These feelings are understandable, as a risk exists for you to potentially face serious punishments if convicted. Therefore, you may wish to explore your options for a criminal defense.

When it comes to assault allegations, the charges likely accuse you of causing bodily harm to another individual. The circumstances under which these charges have been brought can play heavily into your defense.


Claiming self-defense remains among the most common defense strategies when it comes to assault allegations. However, evidence must suggest that your actions warranted a physical defense. For instance, if someone approached you, threatened or physically harmed you in a manner that caused you to fear for your safety, you may have had cause to physically fight back in order to protect yourself.

On the other hand, if you acted in a manner that caused the situation to escalate by provoking another individual, your self-defense claim may come under scrutiny. Additionally, if the altercation involved an individual to whom you were not physically matched due to age, size or gender, you may also need to bolster your defensive strategies.

Protecting others

Another reason you may have acted in a physically defensive manner might revolve around protecting a loved one, friend or other individual. It is not uncommon for individuals to intervene when they witness an attack on someone else, and if the victim was unable to defend him or herself, you may have felt the need to step up in order to prevent further harm. You will likely need proof that the other individual was indeed at risk of harm.

In a manner similar to the self-defense strategy, a claim of defending another individual will also require reasonable proof that your intervention was necessary, and your role will need to be viewed as a protector rather than an instigator.

In order for your defense to come across in a meaningful manner, the facts of the situation need to have a solid presentation. Understandably, building a criminal defense presentation on your own may leave you worried that you might overlook key information. As a result, you may fear your court proceedings and the potential outcome.

Luckily, you do not have to move through the criminal justice system alone. An experienced New York attorney can assess your case and help you understand your defense options.

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