3 Defenses to a Criminal Battery Charge

Being charged with criminal battery in the state of New Mexico is a scary situation, and the negative consequences of such a charge can mean major problems for you. You could face everything from hefty fines to jail time.

According to 2006 New Mexico Statutes – Section 30-3-4 – Battery, “Battery is the unlawful, intentional touching or application of force to the person of another when done in a rude, insolent or angry manner. Whoever commits battery is guilty of a petty misdemeanor.”

Your best line of defense for fighting a criminal battery charge so you’re not found guilty is to hire a qualified criminal defense attorney. The most skillful attorney will look at the facts about your case and come up with logical defense tactics to show the court why you’re not guilty. Here’s a look at common tactics your attorney may use to defend you with a criminal battery charge.

1. You Acted Out to Protect Yourself

In some situations, your lawyer will gather evidence in an effort to prove to the court that you only assaulted the victim because you saw them as an immediate threat. Self-defense can be one of the more effective ways of defending your charge in court because most people will try to defend themselves from harm.

According to Law.com, self-defense is defined as using reasonable force to protect yourself from physical harm. Therefore, your act of defending yourself must be reasonable according to the proposed threat. For example, if someone threatens to hit you with their fist, you would equally be inclined to defend yourself with your own hands.

2. The Victim Consented to the Activity Leading to the Battery

One of the trickier defense tactics, consensual assault is a more unusual idea that rarely applies to normal situations. In battery cases, consent usually refers to the fact that the victim consented to something they knew in advance could cause them harm. One example of this situation is if the injuries occurred as a result of fighting for sport.

Consent rarely comes up as part of usual criminal battery cases, and when it does, judges can be apprehensive about viewing consent as a logical defense. However, if this defense does apply to your case, your attorney will take great strides to prove the unique circumstances of the incident.

3. You Were Protecting Someone Else or Your Property

Just as you have the right to defend yourself against a proposed threat, you also have the right to defend someone else or your personal property. This defense is commonly brought up in criminal battery cases because many people act out in an effort to protect someone or something. A few examples of this would be if:

  • You attacked someone who was directly injuring a loved one
  • You assaulted someone because they were trying to burn down your home
  • You attacked someone who was causing harm to your vehicle
  • You defended someone who was being assaulted by the victim

While these situations can sometimes be hard to prove, they are usually easier to prove than the common self-defense claim. This is especially true if you were defending another individual and not some form of material property because the third party may be able to give testimony.

While criminal battery charges can be a scary thing to face in a court of law, having a good attorney with knowledge of logical defense tactics may help. If you have been charged with criminal battery, don’t wait to get help. Reach out to us at Law Office of W. Shane Jennings today for expert advice regarding your case.

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