When a Fight Becomes Assault and BatterySan Diego Legal News
Becoming engaged in a physical altercation is a risky debacle. Physical violence can happen in an instant, and at times, you may not have a choice but to become a part of such a situation. If you feel that you are threatened, you have every legal right to prevent bodily harm from coming to yourself or a loved one. However, there is a point where a fist fight can transform from a simple disagreement to a criminal offense. If you have been charged with criminal battery as the result of a fight in the San Diego area, contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer to preserve your freedom.
Legal Definition of Assault
An assault is legally classified as a situation in which an individual commits an intentional act that causes another to fear that they are about to suffer physical harm. You do not have to make physical contact with another person to commit an assault. An assault can consist of the visual and/or obvious intent to do another person harm, which is considered an overt act. An overt act is any action that would cause an otherwise “reasonable person” (reasonable meaning the individual has the standard cognitive abilities expected of a functioning human) to fear for their immediate safety or that of a loved one. An overt act satisfies the act requirement of an assault. Coupled with the act requirement, an assault must also have an intent requirement in order to meet the legal definitions. Intent, or general intent, is when an individual acts in a way that would someone assume that a physical threat is imminent. If you have been accused of an assault it is important to contact a qualified criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.
Legal Definition of Battery
Battery is legally defined as when an individual willfully and unlawfully uses the force of violence against another individual. The battery requirement is the physical element of the assault and battery set of charges. The parameters for the commission of battery are that it involves intentional touching, the touching must be harmful or offensive, and touching must be without the consent of the victim. Unlike assault, battery does not possess an intent requirement. Battery is contingent solely upon the action of making physical contact with another person against their will. Battery also does not have an intent requirement; battery can be coincidental but still go on to have legal consequences. It is important to insulate yourself from false accusations and self-incrimination with the assistance and counsel of a criminal defense attorney.
When a Fight Becomes Assault and Battery
A fight becomes assault and battery after initial hostilities have ended and one party reinitiates physical conflict with another. If a party is spontaneously attacked by another, the attacked party has the legal authority to take whatever steps necessary to prevent bodily harm from coming to themselves or loved ones. If this engagement has ceased and the attacked party initiates conflict again, this new engagement represents the intent to harm and, therefore, may constitute assault and battery. If you or a loved one in the San Diego area has been accused or convicted of assault and battery, contact the Coastal Legal Center for a free case evaluation at 619-231-0724.