When you get in a physical altercation with someone, you could find yourself charged with misdemeanor battery, domestic battery, or felony aggravated battery. Having a violent crime like this on your record can cause you significant problems in the future. For example, a conviction for a forcible felony such as aggravated battery can prevent you from getting the professional license you need to work in health care, teaching, or a number of other fields. Employers may refuse to hire you for even a misdemeanor battery conviction.
Because the potential consequences of a conviction are harsh, you need to mount a strong defense against any type of battery charges or similar crimes against persons. But, what constitutes a strong defense? The key is not to rely on a single line of defense but rather to have multiple lines of defense.
Possible Defense Strategies
In battery cases, the person who made physical contact first is generally the one who gets charged with the crime of battery, while the other person can claim they hit back in self-defense. Whoever sounds more credible is likely to be the one believed. Thus, witness testimony usually plays a crucial role in the prosecution of a battery charge.
To win, a defense attorney will have to discredit the state’s key witness. For example, it might be argued that supposed independent witnesses were not present from beginning to end of the incident or did not actually have a clear view of the entire incident.
Yet simply discrediting that witness may not be enough to win the case for the defense. This is where the “multiple lines of defense” strategy comes into play.
The defense attorney can strengthen the defendant’s case by presenting a believable alternative view of the incident. For example, the evidence shows that it was the “victim” that was the aggressor in the situation. Or showing that the “victim” has changed her statement multiple times, thereby lowering the believability of the victim. And a convincing alternative scenario can also further tip the scales in favor of the defendant.
Another option for strengthening the defense involves challenging the report made by the police officers who responded to and investigated the incident. Perhaps the police failed to locate and interview other witnesses or to look at security camera video that captured all or part of the incident. Or, the police may have failed to check their own files, which reveal that the alleged victim was in fact the aggressor in at least one previous incident. A motivated defense attorney may be able to find enough holes in the police investigation to create a reasonable doubt about the defendant’s guilt. In a criminal proceeding, reasonable doubt is all that is needed for an acquittal.
Contact a Will County Violent Crimes Attorney
If you have been in a fight in Joliet or elsewhere in Will County, and the police have charged you with battery, consult an experienced Joliet assault and battery lawyer. After reviewing all of the circumstances and evidence in your case, we will prepare a strong defense strategy for you. Call the Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba at 815-740-4025 for a free consultation.