Assault charges are taken seriously in New Jersey. In fact, those who are convicted on these charges can wind up facing jail or prison time, as well as damage to their criminal record and their reputation. All of these penalties can send shockwaves across nearly every aspect of your life, which is why you need to be prepared to aggressively defend yourself against them.
Therefore, you need to know your strongest criminal defense options and exploit them to the best of your ability. When it comes to assault, one of your best arguments may be self-defense. Under New Jersey law, self-defense is a recognized criminal defense. However, there are certain requirements that must be met before this option can be successfully utilized. Perhaps the biggest caveat to this defense option is that you must reasonably believe that force is immediately necessary to protect yourself from force that is illegally being used against you by another person.
To determine whether the force you used was immediately necessary to protect yourself, a judge and jury may consider a number of factors. Amongst them are the sizes of the parties involved, the presence or absence of any threats, and evidence of who instigated the altercation in question. So, if you are considering utilizing this defense, then you need to carefully analyze the facts at hand to determine how best to present it to the jury.
If you are able to successfully raise a self-defense argument, then there’s a good chance that you can beat assault charges that have been levied against you. This means avoiding harsh penalties and moving on with your life, hopefully as if nothing happened. In order to craft a compelling self-defense argument, though, you’ll need to know how to utilize the law and the evidence to your favor, which may mean securing the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney.