Defenses To An Assault Charge
Assault in Kentucky occurs when a person intentionally causes physical harm to another person. There are four different degrees of the crime of assault in Kentucky, but regardless of which degree of crime a person is charged with, it is crucial that they take the charges seriously. Being convicted of assault can result in a jail term of between one year to twenty years. If you are facing assault charges in Kentucky, you should contact a criminal defense attorney who can help you develop a strong defense strategy. There are various ways of defending assault charges, and an attorney can help determine which defense suits your case. That said, the following are some potential defenses to an assault charge.
According to KRS 503.050, a person is allowed to use physical force to defend themselves. A person is justified to use physical force to defend themselves if they believe that such force is necessary to protect themselves against the imminent use of illegal force by the other person. For this reason, self-defense can be used as a defense to defend a person against an assault charge. If you were attacked and then defended yourself using some force, you can fight your assault charges using the defense of self-defense.
Defense of Others
Apart from allowing a person to use physical force to defend themselves, Kentucky law allows a person to use physical force to defend another person. According to KRS 503.070, a person can use physical force to defend a third person if they believe that such force is necessary to protect the third person against another person’s use of unlawful force. If, for example, you used physical force to protect a family member under your protection, you could fight your assault charges using this defense.
Defense of Property
In Kentucky, a person can also use physical force to defend their property against being invaded or unlawfully withheld. This defense allows a person to use force to protect their property, particularly where their home is involved. A person has the right to keep another person from breaking into their home or remove a trespasser. In Kentucky, you do not have a duty to retreat if you are in a place where you have the right to be, such as your home.
If you caused physical harm to another person by accident, you should not be found guilty of assault as you did not act intentionally. However, a defendant can only claim the defense of “accident” if the event or accident was unforeseeable. If, for example, you pretended you were going to punch someone and then ended up punching them, that would not be considered an accident, as it is foreseeable that hitting the areas around another person could result in you actually hitting that person.
Lack of Mental State
Lastly, a person may not be found guilty of the crime of assault if they did not have the required mental state at the time they committed the offense. They may not be found guilty as they did not act intentionally or knowingly when they committed the crime.
Contact a London Criminal Defense Attorney
If you are facing assault charges in Kentucky and need help from a qualified criminal defense attorney, contact a London violent crime attorney at Cessna & George Law Firm. We can help you develop a strong defense strategy that can help you fight your charges.