The Law Offices of Justin Rickman

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When self-defense is a valid defense to assault charges

There are, unfortunately, people in Florida who resort to violence to solve their differences. There are others who use violence as a way to rob others or intimidate them for other reasons. Generally, when people do use violence against others, they could be charged with assault and battery. Being charged with assault and battery means that people could be facing serious consequences.

These consequences could include jail time, fines and other punishments, along with lengthy probationary periods. When people are charged, it does not mean that they are automatically guilty. All people have rights after being arrested and one of the most important rights is that people are innocent until proven guilty. There are potential defenses available to people, depending on the circumstances and facts of the case. For assault and battery charges, one defense is that the person was acting in self-defense.

People can defend themselves with the use of force and harm others in the process. If they believe there is an imminent threat that other people will use unlawful force against them, they can use force to defend themselves against being harmed. People do not have a duty to retreat before defending themselves. If people believe that there is an imminent threat that other people will use fatal force, people can in turn use fatal force to defend themselves.

There are various situations that people in Florida find themselves in that they would like to avoid. One of these situations is being harmed by another person or by multiple people. However, unfortunately, some people do find themselves in this situation. These people do not need to just allow themselves to be harmed and can defend themselves with the use of force. If the person is later charged with assault and battery, they can use a self-defense claim and potentially have the charges dismissed.