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How Can I Beat a Simple Assault Charge in Court?

When it comes to engaging with other individuals in life, things can go several ways. Most of the time, your conversations with others are as friendly as they can be genuine. Sometimes, you may find that some situations quickly become out of hand. Sometimes, they may even become volatile.

If the situation devolves and becomes violent, legal proceedings are all but inevitable. Should the police arrive and charge you with assault, you may feel as if all hope is lost. Context is important here, and you could get the charge thrown out, provided the circumstances are in your favour.

Here is how to beat a simple assault charge in court:

Types of Assault

To begin with, it is important to distinguish assault from other types of physical, criminal acts that can happen. In the most basic terms, assault occurs when one part initiates a physical confrontation with another. Concerning simple assault, that is as rudimentary as you can get.

There could be other variations of the charge at play, depending on the context of the situation. For example, a domestic assault could see one partner putting their hands on the other in a physical way. Even though simple assault can be much easier to combat in court, it is still vital to know the other variations.

Lack of Intent

As far as beating simple assault charges go, you will have to ensure that the right circumstances are behind you. Only then will a criminal lawyer be able to get you through the proceedings as easily as possible. One of the most important defences to mount in the subsequent proceedings is the lack of intent.

As the name implies, the confrontation that occurred only happened out of an accident. There was no malicious intent on your part to harm the other person. If the Crown cannot prove this, you could easily see the charge thrown out. That way, the legal proceedings can end before they even start.

Assaulting the Police

Simple assault involves engaging in a physical altercation with another party or parties. This in and of itself is pretty basic and can be challenged in court if you do get charged with it.

However, other types of this assault charges are difficult to get thrown out. In Canada, the Crown does not take the act of assault on law enforcement officers lightly.

Self-Defence

Simple assault can go several ways, all of which can be blamed on one person or the other. You could claim self-defence if the situation played out the right way if you become charged. Under the Canadian Criminal Code, a defence is used to get you through the proceedings quite easily.

For this to occur, however, you will have to ensure that you had a reasonable suspicion that you would be attacked. What defines reasonable can vary from situation to situation, but it is a crucial component nonetheless. If the simple assault was committed in retaliation to you being attacked, self-defence could be used in court.

Conflicting Testimony

Another effective strategy to use when it comes to battling simple assault comes via the confliction of testimony. The other side, usually the Crown, will use various tactics to validate your simple assault charge. This can come in various ways, such as using eyewitness testimony.

Sometimes, however, the testimony of these individuals can be picked apart by your lawyer. Should there be gaps in their specific retelling of the events, it could invalidate the charge laid against you. Always give an accurate account of what transpired, as this can go a long way.

Charter Rights Violation

Under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, every Canadian is granted protection somehow. However, these protections can go further in some cases if the opposing side showcases that they have violated your rights. If this occurs in an obvious way, it could be easy for your charge to be thrown out.

Plea Bargain

Life can go several ways, all of which can look bad on your side of the coin. You may find that you cannot get the simple assault charge thrown out in its entirety. To ensure that you still get off somewhat easily, you will have to plea bargain.

This occurs when the defence does not foresee an easy way out of the path laid ahead of them. Reduced charges may then be on the table so that you can still make it out of the most severe outcomes. However, don’t be afraid to test the waters with other defences first!

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