Assault & Battery Attorney in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

What possible defenses do you look at in assault cases?

Philadelphia, PA criminal defense attorney Brian Fishman talks about how he approaches defending assault cases.

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So when I’m looking at an assault case, I’m looking at possible defenses. The first one is self-defense. If there’s no question that my client assaulted the other individual the question is who was the first aggressor? Oftentimes when people respond to a scene, they see two parties and one has very bad injuries and the other person doesn’t have injuries at all. Well who becomes their client, their defendant and who becomes their victim? The defendant is the one with no injuries and their victim is the one with serious injuries but that doesn’t mean that the person with more injuries didn’t throw the first punch, didn’t pull out a weapon. So I’m always looking at self defense as a possible defense in an assault case.

Another defense is intent. Sometimes somebody does suffer some kind of serious bodily injury as a result of an assault but was that my client’s intent? You could throw a punch and you could knock somebody to the ground and cause some very significant injuries but if my client’s intent was merely to cause some sort of bodily injury it might be a lower grading of an assault. Rather than an aggravated assault it might be a simple assault. So those are two areas of defenses that I look for when dealing with assault cases.

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