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What Are My Defense Options Against An Assault Charge?

If you have been charged with assault, you are likely worried about the penalties you may face if convicted. Any assault charge could ultimately result in jail time, a hefty fine, or both. Considering the possible implications, you need to devise an effective assault defense strategy to fight the charges and mitigate the penalties. Fortunately, the state of New Hampshire recognizes several defense options related to assault.


Perhaps the most commonly used defense strategy against an assault charge is self-defense. In order to claim self-defense, you must show that you had a reasonable and honest fear of personal harm from the other party and that there was an imminent threat to your safety and well-being. You must not have provoked the other party or acted as the initial aggressor, and you should show that you had no reasonable escape from the situation. Further, you must have used a reasonable amount of force to defend yourself considering the circumstances and the threat posed by your aggressor.

Defense of others

Similar to self-defense, the defense of others option applies when you fear for the safety of another person. The same limitations exist for this defense option as they do for self-defense, and you must have a reasonable basis for your perceived fear.

Defense of property

If you assaulted someone who was robbing your home, you may be able to claim that you were defending your property. Considering the circumstances surrounding the incident, you may be able to claim that your use of reasonable, non-deadly force when protecting your property was warranted.

Consent and mutual combat

In situations where two individuals voluntarily consented to acts of violence against each other, the usual grounds for assault and battery charges may not apply. For instance, if two individuals voluntarily agree to engage in a boxing match with each other, one party typically cannot claim assault and battery against his or her opponent. However, even if the violent act is consensual, the perpetrators may still face legal repercussions under public policy.

Your legal defense

In New Hampshire, as in other states, the penalties for an assault conviction can adversely impact the rest of your life. As such, you need to explore your options related to the charges against you. By consulting with an experienced defense attorney, you may be able to devise an effective assault defense strategy based on the circumstances surrounding your case.

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Green & Utter, P.A.
764 Chestnut Street
Manchester, NH 03104

Phone: 603-413-4983
Fax: 603-669-9330
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