Law Office of Dattan Scott Dattan - Anchorage Criminal Defense Lawyers

4 Potential Defenses If You’ve Been Charged With An Assault In Alaska

If you are in Alaska and you have been charged with assault, the first thing you should do is seek out a lawyer who can help you mount the perfect defense. In case you are unaware, there are 4 solid defenses one can offer after being accused of this type of crime.

1. Self-Defense

This is one of the most common defenses used when someone has an assault charge lodged against them. Just because it is often used, this does not mean that everyone using it is successful. In order for a judge or jury to find someone acted justly, there are several points to consider:

– There must have been a threat of harm made against you.

– There had to be no way to exit the situation without being injured.

– You must have been fearful of the opposing party for a solid reason.

– You must not have provoked the incident in any way.

An example of a time when self-defense would be logical would be striking someone who approached you aggressively in a dark alley in the middle of the night. On the other side of that coin, it would not be a viable defense if you saw someone from afar and started yelling slurs and threatening to cause them harm.

Another thing to consider would be the amount of force that was used to defense yourself. You can only use enough force that would be deemed suitable when compared with your perceived threat. For instance, if a person threatened to slap you and you pushed them to the ground would be an acceptable response; brandishing a weapon and assaulting them would not be in many cases.

2. Defending Property

Defending property is another solid defense for those who have been charged with assault. Keep in mind that Alaska allows people to use non-deadly force in most cases if they are in this type of situation, meaning you cannot take the life of someone else because they made an attempt to damage property.

This means if someone is attempting to throw a rock through your window, you are not allowed to take out a firearm and shoot them. Keep in mind that causing great physical harm not resulting in death is still considered deadly force since there is typically a chance death may occur.

There are some exceptions, including:

– defending your motor vehicle against theft, especially if there is another person in the vehicle besides the thief, like a family member or friend. Using deadly force would be allowed in this type of situation since the life of someone else may be in jeopardy.

– trying to prevent someone from committing arson.

– stopping a burglary in a dwelling that is occupied by others.

– defending your person and vehicle against a potential carjacking.

3. Alibi

This is a solid defense for those who have been accused of a crime and there is no basis for it since they have proof they were not at the scene. For instance, a man who has been charged with committing an assault in Juneau on Christmas morning cannot be convicted if he has solid proof he was in another location at the time. Word of mouth is generally not enough; solid evidence, like video footage and statements from a boss who can verify you were working, would be ideal.

4. Failure To Meet The Burden

There are some occasions when the accused has actually committed the assault without justifiable cause and they can still provide a defense. This is when a defense attorney lodges the defense that the prosecution has not met the burden of proof, meaning they have not proven that the defendant committed the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. In a nutshell, the defense is given the task of proving it happened or the defendant will likely avoid being found guilty.

This may sound like a great deal of information to digest, but it is extremely useful for anyone in the unfortunate predicament of trying to fight assault charges. Whether you hire an experienced attorney, which is highly recommended or you choose to defend yourself, these are four ways that you can avoid ending up being convicted of this crime.

Law Office of Dattan Scott Dattan

341 West Tudor RD, Suite 103 Anchorage, AK 99503
Phone: (907) 276-8008 URL of Map

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