A Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help Beat Assault and Battery Charges
Self-defense is one of the most common defenses used by defendants facing assault and battery charges. When presented by a diligent, skilled criminal defense attorney, the argument that the defendant acted in self-defense or in defense of another person is often enough to clear the defendant’s name, or at least lighten the sentence greatly.
Burden of Proof
The job of the prosecution in any criminal case is to prove that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. This includes proving two parts:
-the defendant committed the crime
-the defendant had criminal intent when the crime was committed
While the definition of “criminal intent” can vary widely based on the crime, in the case of assault and battery it requires that the defendant intentionally threatened or harmed the alleged victim out of anger or malice. If the defendant admits to committing the crime but claims it was done in self-defense, it can be difficult for the prosecution to prove criminal intent.
The Law Offices of Grant Bettencourt has helped win many assault and battery charges. Don’t go it alone. Get an expert, reliable and trustworthy criminal defense attorney to help now. Either call (925) 788-7178 or fill out the form through the button below to schedule a consultation any day or night of the week.
California Self-Defense Law
Self-defense is most commonly used as a criminal defense in violent crimes, including aggravated battery and assault with a deadly weapon. It may also be used as a defense against murder charges in some cases. At its core, a self-defense claim means that the defendant feels he or she was justified in acting in an unlawful manner because the victim was making threats or behaving violently.
California, like all states, has specific statutes that outline the use of self-defense as a legal defense. These laws say that a person cannot be guilty of a crime that was committed for the purpose of protecting himself or herself, so long as the actions taken in self-defense were “reasonable under the circumstances.”
“Reasonable under the circumstances” is a phrase that can cause problems in these cases, because — according to the California law — the defense attorney must prove the defendant believed he or she was in immediate danger, believed that force was needed to prevent injury, and that only enough force to prevent injury was used.
In addition to the self-defense statutes, California also has “stand your ground laws.” These laws state that a person is not obligated to try to exit a threatening situation before resorting to self-defense.
Other Related Defenses
California self-defense laws also cover a number of other cases where potentially unlawful action may be required in order to provide the protection necessary when threatened. This includes:
-Actions to defend another person
-Actions to defend property, including both real property and personal property
-Actions to make a trespasser leave property owned by the defendant or someone he or she represents
Because successfully presenting a self-defense claim in a criminal case can be tricky, it is important to have a skilled, experienced criminal defense attorney on your team. California courts take violent crimes seriously, so your future may be at stake if you are facing assault and battery charges.
Grant Bettencourt and his staff have extensive experience with self-defense claims in California courts. Call us today at (925) 788-7178 to schedule a free initial consultation, and Grant will call you within 24 hours to discuss your case.