Sometimes, a night out doesn’t go the way you expect. In this case, you were minding your own business when someone else came up to you and started instigating a fight. You let them be aggressive until they got close to you. Then, you decided to start fighting back.
In the end, the other person suffered serious injuries. Now, you’re facing accusations of violent actions that could lead to charges. If you inflict great bodily harm on another person, then you may face serious repercussions.
Fortunately, if you did not instigate the fight and were only defending yourself, you may be able to successfully defend against the allegations. Fearing for your life and defending yourself is legal, but there are exceptions.
Defending against charges of assault or battery
If you’re accused of assault or battery related to the bar fight, you should remember that you can defend yourself by showing that:
- You had no reasonable option to escape or retreat
- You perceived that you were at risk of serious harm
- You did not provoke the other party or cause harm before they threatened you
- You faced a threat of force or harm against you that was unlawful
For example, if you are approached by someone at a bar who begins to threaten you and lunges in your direction, you’d reasonably be able to flee. If you can’t get away, then you have every reason to fight back. You’d be able to use a self-defense argument, because you did what you could to avoid a physical altercation but didn’t have another choice.
Self-defense can be a good choice for a defense, but it won’t always work. If you defend yourself with force that is unreasonable for the circumstances, then you could face allegations of assault or battery anyway.
It’s important for you to learn as much as possible about the charges you face before you form a defense. Not everyone can use self-defense as a strong defense in court, but there may be other options that you can use to help protect yourself and prevent yourself from being convicted of a serious crime.