Accusations of violent criminal offenses can lead to serious consequences. Even if you avoid jail time, a conviction or guilty plea could limit your housing and employment options for the rest of your life.
Thankfully, as with any other crime, those accused of assault always have the right to defend themselves. Depending on the circumstances, one of the three strategies below might work in your case.
Show that there was no significant injury
Assault in some states means making someone fear for their safety, but New York treats the offense as the intent to cause bodily harm. If you didn’t actually injure on the other party, the circumstances may not meet the criteria for assault charges.
Show that there was no intent to cause harm
Sometimes, an individual can cause an injury to someone out without meaning to do so. If you tripped and fell, you may have grabbed someone out on your way down to try to steady yourself. It may have been more of a reflex than anything else.
Demonstrating that you had no intent to cause harm or that there is at least a reasonable doubt about whether you intended to cause injury could be enough to fight the assault charges.
Show that you acted in self-defense
The use of physical violence is often a criminal act, but not in situations where you fear for your own safety or that of others. If you can show that the actions you took were not intended to harm the other party but rather to protect yourself or someone else, that may be all it takes to successfully fight the charge.
Understanding how New York law treats assault is often the first step toward fighting assault charges.