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Can I Be Charged With Assault Even If Was Defending Myself?

Yes, unfortunately you can. And this very type of scenario happens all the time. It may seem unfair (and in most cases, it is very unfair), but understanding what can be done about it is very important as well.

When an individual is charged or cited with Assault, he or she is said to have been an unnecessary aggressor towards someone else. In essence, the citation is saying that you should not have made an aggressive move towards the other person (whether the move involved physically touching someone, or simply verbally threatening them with the idea of physical contact), because doing so was not necessary. Of course, if you are defending yourself against someone who is attacking you, this logic seems to fly out the window. But as I mentioned, this is very frequently how these scenarios play out.

Let me give you an example: You are having a family meeting at which your husband’s ex-wife is present. You and she do not get along at all, so you try and stay away from one another. The next thing you know, she (the ex) is coming towards you screaming and flailing her arms in the air. She rushes up to with such force that her body collides with yours, knocking you back a little bit. In defense, you push her back away from you. Once things have calmed down, you leave and go home. Later that night, you receive a phone call from a police officer who begins to ask you questions about what happened. The next day, you are handed a citation that says you are being charged with Assault in the Third Degree.

How does this happen? Easy. When you left to go home, the ex-wife called the police, described this horror story (while crying) about how you attacked her without provocation, and started beating on her as she begged you to stop. The police officer arrives, sees that the ex-wife has in fact been in some sort of altercation (because of the cuts on her face), and starts writing up the citation. Of course, you have your version of events and try to explain those facts. But the fact of the matter is that the ex-wife was the first to call the police, the attending officer believed her story, and now you have this pending charge.

So what do you do now? Well, the best thing to do in this kind of situation is to call an experienced lawyer. The affordable St. Louis criminal defense attorneys at Brinkman & Alter, LLC have been making sure our client’s receive the best care and information possible regarding their rights and range of options. Our goal is to get you the best possible outcome for your particular situation, whether it is a trial, a reduction of the charge to something less severe, or getting the charges dropped altogether. Our initial consultation is free of charge, so call today.