Most people are aware that acting in self-defense is a valid defense strategy for assault and battery. What you may not know, however, is that defense may also be valid if you are acting in defense of others.
We understand how assault and battery laws work and have helped many of our clients with their criminal defense cases.
To understand the defense of others, it is important to understand legal self-defense since you must prove the same criteria during both. When claiming self-defense, you generally need to prove the following elements.
- You were directly under threat of harm by someone using illegal force or other means
- You did not participate in the situation which led to the threat of harm
- Your fear of receiving harm from another part was honest and real
- You could not escape the situation by any other means
It is important to note that even if you prove this evidence in the court, there are several limitations to this type of defense. That is, just because you defend yourself does not mean that you will escape an assaulting battery charge. In the end, the jury will decide the verdict.
Defense of others
According to FindLaw, acting in defense of others bears many of the same requirements as self-defense. The difference is that instead of fearing for yourself you fear for the safety of another person. For example, if someone breaks into your house and captures your spouse, you would have an honest fear that harm would come to them. Like with legal self-defense, the fear must be honest and real for the potential of your spouse’s harm.