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Speaker 1
00;00;00;06 – 00;00;01;06
Hi, everybody. Today, we’re going to talk about assault and batter and the top four defenses. This is Christina Williams, with Just Criminal Law.
Speaker 2
00;00;10;18 – 00;00;11;26
And this is David Mann, Legal Storytelling Specialist. Okay, so assault. Assault and Battery is a different type of assault. I think that a lot of us have heard these terms and not really distinguish between them. So before we get into the defenses, let’s just sort of clarify what this means. So how do we define assault?
Speaker 1
00;00;31;04 – 00;00;31;16
Sure. It’s going to be either a misdemeanor level, or it’s going to be a felony level. And so, if we’re talking about a simple assault, a misdemeanor level assault, it can be as little as touching somebody in a rude manner, or it can be as much as punching somebody in the face, causing them a fat lip, say. It will be a misdemeanor as long as you are in those parameters.
Speaker 2
00;01;00;12 – 00;01;00;23
Okay. So if I’m hearing this right, there’s sort of a simple assault, which is attempting to cause or causing what we would consider to be minor or barely any bodily harm, and then it moves to aggravated assault if it is really causing serious injury or the threat of very serious injury. Is that fair enough, to distinguish it that way?
Speaker 1
00;01;24;04 – 00;01;26;20
Yes. And that threat can come in the way of pointing a loaded handgun at someone, so there’s an aggravated assault charge. Punching someone’s face so hard that you break their nose, that can be aggravated assault. So it’s more serious injury or using a weapon, or a combination of both. Those are all aggravated assault.
Speaker 2
00;01;52;02 – 00;01;52;19
Okay. And then there’s other subsets of assault that would be called domestic assault or sexual assault. Those are different, right? Or added onto these?
Speaker 1
00;02;01;25 – 00;02;04;27
Yes. And a domestic assault can, again, be like a simple battery. Maybe you push your partner and you can get charged with that misdemeanor level assault. But if you get convicted of that, it has just as serious a consequence as a felony. That is, you will lose your gun rights if you’re convicted of a domestic assault. And then, obviously, a sexual assault. There’s different levels. There’s misdemeanor sexual battery, and then there’s a lot of complicated laws surround the felony sexual assault. So those are also in the assault category.
Speaker 2
00;02;47;13 – 00;02;48;18
I see. Okay. So someone gets accused or arrested for any of these that we just mentioned and they’re going to need defense. So when you and I talked about these topics earlier, it turns out that there are really some kind of standard, and very solid, defenses. The first being what we’ve all heard of as self-defense. Explain that one.
Speaker 1
00;03;10;06 – 00;03;13;06
Right. So if you’re being threatened or somebody has actually physically assaulted you, then you’re allowed to defend yourself. Now, that force that you use to defend yourself has to be reasonable and it has to meet that type of threat that’s being used against you. But self-defense is probably the most popular, the most plausible type of defense if you’re involved in an altercation.
Speaker 2
00;03;39;02 – 00;03;40;17
Okay. So there’s defending yourself and then there would be also defending others or defending property. Those are other whole types of defenses, right?
Speaker 1
00;03;47;04 – 00;03;50;04
Right. So if somebody else is being threatened or somebody else has been assaulted themselves, and you’re watching it, you’re allowed to step in and defend that person and claim defense on behalf of. That’s a legitimate reason to help somebody or to assault someone else if they’ve actually hurt someone or attempted to hurt someone, and you’re watching that.
Speaker 2
00;04;13;17 – 00;04;14;25
Okay great. So those are three that have to do with defending yourself, others, or property right?
Speaker 1
00;04;17;13 – 00;04;19;04
Well, then there’s the property, right? That’s one we don’t want to skip over because it’s an important one. YOu know, if somebody is in your home or somebody breaks in, you’re allowed to use a great deal of force if you’re in your room and you have an intruder. That’s an important one not to miss.
Speaker 2
00;04;37;13 – 00;04;39;04
Okay. Defending self, defending others, or defending property. Or another whole line of defense here is lack of intent, right?
Speaker 1
00;04;46;04 – 00;04;49;13
Right. So, you know, these situations come up sometimes where, for example, someone is trying to get in their car and they’re extremely intoxicated and they’re going to try and drive home, and you’re just restraining them, trying to prevent them from getting into their car. And they end up having, maybe like, a bruise on their arm or something, and the police show up. That shows a lack of intent. That is, you’re not trying to hurt them, you’re actually trying to protect them. And so it’s really not fair for you to then get a battery charge.
Speaker 2
00;05;27;20 – 00;05;31;00
Okay. So as with most cases, there’s a story to unscramble and go back over and figure out what really happened to determine what’s the best defense that’s going to hold up in court. And that’s where they’re going to need a lawyer like you. So how do they get in touch with you?
Speaker 1
00;05;43;29 – 00;05;45;18
Sure. We’ll include a link in the description where they can call, text, or chat with a member of my team anytime, day or night. Here at Just Criminal Law, we know you only get one shot at justice. So make yours count!

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