It is not uncommon to witness numerous individuals asserting self-defence as a defence when accused of assault. They contend that their actions were taken out of necessity to protect themselves. If successful in substantiating self-defence and persuading the jury or judge that their actions were indeed acts of self-defence, they will naturally be acquitted. However, proving self-defence can be quite challenging.
The first question that needs to be addressed is: Why did not they to leave the scene at that time and instead to fight back?
After all, the primary purpose of self-defence is to prevent further harm from the other party. Therefore, it is important to understand their decision to fight back rather than escape. Of course, there may be situations where they were unable to retreat, such as being trapped in a room with the assailant blocking the exit. In such cases, they could argue that self-defence was justified. However, if the attack occurred in an open space, it becomes crucial to question the choice to fight back instead of seeking a way out.
The second question that needs explanation is the extent of harm caused to the other person through self-defence actions.
To successfully argue self-defence, the entire narrative must be reasonable and not solely rely on the claim of acting in self-defence. For example, if the defendant continuously struck the other person ten times resulting in bleeding, it needs to be explained whether such a level of force and severity of harm was necessary for self-defence. If the defendant’s explanation lacks logical consistency, they may be charged with mutual combat, and the other party’s motives or past criminal records should not be conflated.
Many individuals often claim self-defence due to the other party’s aggressive behaviour, such as pushing them three years ago or assaulting their friend. While these circumstances are not irrelevant, it is crucial to establish the belief of the court or jury that the defendant genuinely needed to use force to protect their safety. Motives and the other party’s criminal history should not be mixed into the argument.
If you have any legal questions regarding assault, please contact us immediately. Our Criminal Lawyers will answer your legal questions and provide you with professional strategies to safeguard your rights.
*Disclaimer: The above content is provided as general legal knowledge and should not be taken as specific advice for your individual situation. The law is complex, and we strongly recommend consulting professional legal advice. Canaan Lawyers shall not be held liable for any loss or damage caused by the information contained or omitted in the above content.