I’ll give you an example of two prior situations I’ve dealt with. One involved a house party. An individual was lost, looking for some friends. He became upset because he couldn’t find them. He was looking around every car and essentially banging on the hoods of cars trying to figure out where these other individuals were. At one point, the allegation was that this person picked up a rock and threw it at a car.
The other example arose out of an argument with the neighbor. These two individuals continually argued back and forth for various reasons. One day, the defendant decided to go to the neighbor’s house, get in her face, and start yelling at her. The argument escalated. Police were called, even though no blows were exchanged. The person was there, and the allegation was that the “victim” feared for her safety. This was sufficient for the DA to file assault charges.
If I was Arrested for Assault, Would the Notion of Self-Defense Help My Case?
Not necessarily, especially if you have other people who were witnesses. Self-defense basically means that you did not initiate the contact, you did not instigate, you did not escalate the matter, and you did not use any more force than was necessary to defend yourself.
For example, if I’m running at you with my fist in the air, yelling that I’m going to punch you, you’re probably going to either move or try to punch me back before I hit you. You did nothing at that point other than defend yourself, literally.
However, if I am running toward you with my fist in the air, but you decide to shoot me, you can’t really justify use of that defense. The gun is over and above what you were facing. There is a difference between a fist and a gun.
Is There a Difference Between a Weapon and a Deadly Weapon?
Yes and no. Ultimately, a weapon is a weapon. Any weapon could be a deadly weapon if you use it the right way. There’s a difference between trying to stab someone with a pen and having a gun. Obviously, a deadly weapon is something like a gun or a machete. Even if you don’t use it the right way, if you mishandle it, the item could lead to death or great bodily injury.
What Is An Example of a Good Witness in an Assault Case?
A good witness is anybody who saw what happened, anybody who saw the events leading up to the alleged assault, anybody who saw the actual event of the alleged assault, even without the preceding events. You don’t necessarily need one person to see everything from start to finish. Perhaps someone could see the instigation, and another person could see the pre-attack sequence of events.
Both witnesses can be credible witnesses, because they saw the actual events. This will always be the best type of witness: the one with the personal knowledge of what happened.
You could use circumstantial evidence, as well. Perhaps you quickly run away and get on the phone with your mom or your sister. You say, “This guy just tried to hit me.” They could be witnesses, depending on the context those statements were made in. Their testimony won’t be as strong as somebody who actually perceived the event, of course, but it could still be useful.
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