Any assault charge can carry a penalty that may impact your life dramatically. This is an act of violence against another person, and depending on the severity and contributing factors, you can be charged, convicted and sentenced to probation or even prison.
What if you have been charged with aggravated assault and are not guilty? You will need a qualified criminal lawyer to help you with the case for sure. In addition, it helps to understand more about your charges. Let’s learn how to beat an aggravated assault charge:
What Is Aggravated Assault?
Any assault or threat to directly strike someone with or without a weapon or dangerous object where that someone is wounded, maimed, disfigured or whose life was endangered. If found guilty, this indictable offence carries serious penalties, including a prison term of up to 14 years.
This is a very serious charge and not to be taken lightly. There may be additional charges surrounding the incident, impacting the case. You need proper legal representation to help fight these charges.
Here is how to beat an aggravated assault charge using various defence strategies.
If you are in a situation where you are being attacked, it is normal to fight back. Under Canadian law, anyone assaulted without provocation is justified in repelling that force by force as long as it is not intended to cause grievous bodily harm or death to the assailant.
This amount of self-defence must be only as harsh as is necessary to deal with the treat. You can also use appropriate force to protect someone else, including friends, family members, or even strangers. Reasonable force takes into account:
- What role did you play in the incident
- Whether there was a weapon used or threatened
- The nature of the force
- Was it imminent force
Another form of justifiable self-defence is preventing a crime such as property damage or loss.
Things can get out of hand very quickly in a volatile situation, and as long as your intent was self-defence, even with an aggravated assault charge, it can be argued that you were justified in what you did. Remember, you admit that you committed an assault but that it was necessary to protect yourself or someone else.
Lack of Intent
Lack of intent means that you didn’t intend to hurt the person. Injuries happen during a violent incident, and even though you didn’t want to seriously harm someone else, you may have unintentionally done so. This is an accidental occurrence, and your actions may have been reflexive due to external stimuli.
In prosecuting a criminal charge, there has to be evidence that proves guilt without question or beyond a reasonable doubt. This is a great strategy for your defence lawyer because there is always conflicting testimony from those involved and witnesses. If there are discrepancies in how the assault happened by multiple people, it casts doubt that cannot be ignored.
For an assault to occur, the victim needs to believe and fear that the assault will take place. If the alleged assailant was joking and the victim believed it was a joke, there is also doubt.
Remember that an assault charge is the use of force without someone’s consent. Although aggravated assaults are much more serious with bodily harm, If you can prove that a person consented to your use of force and it unintentionally resulted in bodily harm, you could still plead consent.
In some cases, your lawyer can make a plea down the charges to a less severe form of assault. This is sometimes necessary when they know there is no path to dismiss charges or acquittal, and some charges will be administered. A lesser assault charge may not bring any jail time and is an acceptable compromise you and your lawyer agreed upon.
If the police or the prosecutors make mistakes, a judge may exclude some evidence, leading to a reduced charge.
Victim Doesn’t Show Up in Court
There are times when a victim can’t or won’t show up to their trial. At this time, it is possible to get the charges thrown out. The judge may reset the trial for another date, but your lawyer can argue against it. They can have the court dismiss the case without prejudice, meaning the plaintiff can still refile, or the charges are stayed, meaning guilt or innocence is never determined, but there is failure to bring the case to trial promptly.
Dealing with an aggravated assault charge is serious, and a qualified assault lawyer should handle it. You want the best defence possible, and to beat an aggravated assault charge, one or more of these strategies can be used.