If You Are Charged With Assault You Need A Criminal Lawyer
People charged with assault occasionally plead guilty without first seeking professional advice from a criminal lawyer. They plead guilty because they accept the alleged facts as a correct and accurate reflection of what had occurred. But too often people enter a guilty plea to their charge of assault without realising that they would have had a lawful defence to their charge. Unfortunately, once the plea of guilty is entered and the sentencing proceeds, the guilty plea is almost impossible to reverse.
Legal Defences To Assault
Assault charges frequently involve a situation where the accused may have acted in self-defence or acted under circumstances of provocation. These are legal defences to a charge of assault that result in a person being found not guilty of the charge.
Consider the following factual scenario:
Y and Z are involved in a traffic accident. They both exit their vehicle to exchange details. During the course of their discussion about what had occurred Z becomes angry. Z positions his face very close to Y’s face and yells racial abuse at Y. Z also raises his fist at Y in a threatening way but does not strike Y. Y immediately responds by punching Z in the chest causing Z to fall over and suffer bruising to his body.
In this instance, Y may raise the defence of provocation and assert that the racial abuse he was subjected to deprived him of the power of self-control; that his actions took place in the heat of the moment and without time for his passion to cool. Alternatively, Y may argue that he believed that his act of striking Z was necessary to defend himself from an imminent harmful act from Z when Z raised his fist.
Ultimately, if either provocation or self-defence is raised by Y the court is required to consider whether Y responded to Z’s actions proportionately and in a manner that was commensurate with the situation Y was in. The court would also need to consider whether Y’s actions were not excessive and were not intended to or likely to cause death or grievous bodily harm.
I Can Defend You Against Assault Charges
Many people are not aware of these available defences to a charge of assault until they have sought advice from a criminal lawyer. Because of the heavy penalties that are being imposed by the courts for assault offences, it is imperative that you contact an experienced criminal lawyer to advise you about the law and whether there is a legal defence to your charge.
If you have been charged with assault and want to ensure that your interests are being looked after contact the law offices of Andrew Williams. I am a criminal lawyer with extensive experience in all aspects of the law relating to assault.
What If No Defence Is Available?
Even if there is not a defence to your assault charge, I can still assist in achieving a positive outcome for you. I know the sentencing law as it applies to assault and regularly put forward submissions to the court at sentencing hearings which work to my client’s advantage. That might include arguments for: Why your matter can be dealt with by way of a fine only; why you should not be sent to jail; or why a spent conviction order should be made so that the assault offence is not recorded as a conviction against your name.
We Are Criminal Law Experts
Over the past decade, assault charges have occupied a significant part of my firm’s practice in criminal law. It’s against my background of experience in assault law that my clients feel confident that they have engaged a criminal lawyer that will achieve a strong, effective defence strategy and achieve the most positive outcome possible.