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What Are The Potential Defenses That Can Be Used In Assault Cases?


There are many defenses that are available for assault cases. Sometimes, self-defense is a very viable defense. It is a fact-specific defense, so it’s important to consult with an attorney to determine whether you have a legal basis to argue self-defense. Other defenses may be put forth as necessary. It may be duress, depending upon the circumstances, or perhaps the wrong person was identified, which does happen. If it’s a stranger on stranger assault, sometimes the wrong person is identified, and it’s a straight not-guilty defense that the police got the wrong person. There are a variety of defenses that can be used, though self-defense is a common one.

What Happens If An Alleged Victim Recants Allegations Of Assault?

When an alleged victim retracts or recants a statement, it does have an impact on the case. Under certain circumstances, if the person says that what they reported to police actually didn’t happen, it is possible for the entire case to be thrown out. That depends on whether there are other types of evidence that are going to corroborate or reinforce the person’s original statement. If the person, during their original statement, said that they were punched in the face and the police have pictures of them with a bruise on their face, it’s unlikely that if they say “Nope, I didn’t get punched in the face, I just walked into a door” later on, the police and the prosecutor are going to believe that. That case probably won’t get dismissed before trial.

It still is possible to bring up the inconsistencies between the two statements at trial, which may cause a jury to find someone not guilty. A prosecutor is unlikely to dismiss that case. However, it is also possible that if they say they were punched, and there are no marks or no other witnesses to corroborate or support that story, and they later say that they made it all up, then it is possible for that case to be dismissed before trial. Just because an alleged victim has recanted a statement, does not mean that the case will automatically be dropped.

What Would You Say To Someone Who Wanted To Handle An Assault Case On Their Own?

What I tell to my clients and to potential clients is that in all of the police reports I’ve read and cases I have handled, no one has ever talked himself or herself out of trouble. They’ve usually gotten themselves into more trouble because they’ve made a statement to the police and now we are locked into that statement. The gut reaction will be maybe hiring a lawyer will make me look guilty, but what really matters is down the line when you are sitting in court is will you have the best defense possible? The best defense possible starts with a lawyer who gets involved early in the case, before you speak to police before there is evidence collected that you voluntarily disclosed. All sorts of things are possible once those items are in the hands of police, and very rarely does it turn out that they decide not to charge someone. The police will follow the evidence, and once they have it in mind where the evidence is leading, they are going to follow it to that conclusion.

If they are speaking to you or asking to speak to you, chances are they already have a good idea in their mind that they would like to accuse you of a crime, and they are looking for evidence to support that. They are not looking for evidence to clear you. It’s important to get involved and have an attorney involved as soon as possible so that your rights can be protected, and a theory of defense put forward and cemented early on. This way, you don’t cause any more problems for yourself by giving a statement that down the line, isn’t helpful for the case that your attorney is trying to put forward for you.

Why Should I Hire Your Firm To Represent Me In An Assault Case In Minnesota?

It’s important to hire a knowledgeable firm like Congdon Law PLLC, because you want an attorney that is experienced in this type of case. You want an attorney who has handled hundreds of them, who knows the pitfalls to look out for, and who knows how to put together a strong defense. It’s also important to have an attorney who is knowledgeable because there are other consequences that may be implicated if you were to plead guilty or to be found guilty down the line. For example, pleading guilty to an assault may revoke your firearm privileges.

You may not ever be able to possess a firearm in the future, even if it’s a misdemeanor because federal firearms laws are going to be different than the Minnesota state law. Having an experienced attorney like myself is going to protect the rights that you want to protect. We make sure that you are knowledgeable, and know everything that could potentially happen to you before you make a decision. Knowledge is key in these situations, and that goes for having an attorney who knows what she is doing, as well as being able to be informed by that attorney as you make decisions in your case.

Additional Information About Assault Cases In Minnesota

Assault charges can be enhanced, and they can be enhanced by more than just other assault charges. That’s something to keep in mind, that if you have a domestic assault or interfering with an emergency call or threats of violence in your past, all of those types of things can be used to enhance, or make more serious, the new assault charge or accusation against you.

For more information on Defenses In An Assault Case, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (651) 314-9620 today.

Jennifer Congdon, Esq.

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