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Claiming Self Defense When Charged with Assault and Battery

Okabe & Haushalter Aug 3, 2018 Criminal Defense

Assault and battery are one of the most common crimes committed in California. It’s easy to get involved in a fight with someone else and then that fight turns into a physical one. It very well could have been self-defense, but how do you prove this? It’s very difficult to fight an assault charge. It’s even more difficult to fight a battery charge. Our Los Angeles assault and battery defense attorney provides tips for using self-defense as a response to being charged with such a crime.

Claiming Self Defense

Quite possibly the most common reason used when charged with assault and battery is that of self-defense. Even though this is a common defense it is still one that is very difficult to prove. You will need to show, or prove, four very important items that include the following:

  • A threat was made against them of unlawful force or harm
  • An honest and real perception of fear that they will be harmed. This must be a reasonable perception of fear of harm
  • The defendant did not exhibit any violence or provocation of harm to the plaintiff
  • The defendant did not have any reasonable chance to escape the situation

Another important consideration that is reviewed in such a case is the amount of force used by the defendant when claiming self-defense. There cannot be an excessive amount of force used by the defendant if they are claiming self-defense. It must be proportionate to the situation in which they were defending themselves.

Defending Property

Another common argument when it comes to being charged with assault and battery is that the defendant was simply defending property, which is what got themselves in trouble. There is a possibility that the defendant might have been protecting their property or belongings in an incident, which led to the assault and battery. For example, people have the right to defend their homes to a certain extent. The use of force varies based on the jurisdiction.

Defending Another Person

Being charged with assault and battery when you were simply defending another person is a very valid defense used in such a case. It can be hard to truly prove that this was the case but if there are witnesses and evidence that supports your argument you could easily find yourself free and clear of any charges. You will need to prove that you had a real and honest fear that the person you were defending was going to suffer physical harm from another. If you cannot show this honest perception of fear that this defense will be difficult to prove in court.


One of the least common of the defenses to assault and battery cases is that of consent. If someone has consented to a specific act, that same act cannot then be viewed as an assault and battery. There can still be charges filed if the actual physical act exceeds what was consented to originally.

Were you charged with assault and battery in California? Contact a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney to handle your case. The office of Okabe & Haushalter can be reached at 310-430-7799.