Rio Rancho Assault and Battery Lawyers
Rio Rancho Assault and Battery Attorneys Are Here to Help
Rio Rancho is an excellent city to live in. With our many parks, trails, and outdoor activities, there’s lots to do and see in this “City of Vision.” But unfortunately, as with any other progressive city, crime happens – and that includes assault and battery.
According to statistics for the year 2018, Rio Rancho saw 150 assaults per 100,000 people in the population. This represents a 24.85 percent increase over 2017. This alarming increase suggests that there may be more to these numbers than meets the eye. It also suggests that there are many people in need of aggressive legal representation so that their rights are protected as they make their way through the criminal justice system.
Assault and Battery Defined
Whether in everyday usage or on those popular TV crime dramas, you often hear the terms “assault” and “battery” used together. However, they do not always occur together and they are actually different.
Assault is actually either an attempt to attack someone that is not completed, or it is the use of intimidating actions or words to communicate a threat that causes the victim to fear for their safety. The aspect of assault that often surprises people is that there is no physical contact in an assault, and as such, it is typically categorized as a misdemeanor. It could be upgraded to a felony if aggravating circumstances are present, such as threatening someone with a deadly weapon.
Battery, on the other hand, does involve actual physical contact. To be guilty of battery, you must have touched someone without their consent, usually in a harmful way like kicking, punching, or hitting someone with an object. However, what you choose to strike the person with matters because anything that can cause great physical harm (like a pipe) can be considered a deadly weapon. And once a deadly weapon enters the situation, the degree of criminal charge increases in severity. For instance, a simple battery is likely charged as a petty misdemeanor, whereas a battery with a deadly weapon raises it all the way up to a third-degree felony.
Assault and Battery Defenses
There are a number of defenses that can be used if you or a loved one gets charged with assault and battery. Here are a few of the most common:
- Under Duress – If someone is forced to engage in an assault or battery, or they would suffer harm themselves, they are said to be operating under duress and not their own volition.
- Out of Necessity – This is when the battery was necessary in order to protect the public. For instance, if you physically restrained someone because they were trying to set off a bomb, you would likely not get charged with battery.
- Defending Yourself – The most common defense is self-defense. When you experience a real or perceived danger of a physical attack against a person, you are legally allowed to strike back, if necessary, to protect yourself. However, you cannot have provoked the attack, and there must be no feasible means of escape from the attack or you may lose this defense.
- Defense of Others – When you witness another person being physically attacked or threatened, you are legally allowed to defend that person against their attacker. Once again, the threat must be imminent and the person you are defending cannot have been the initiator of the confrontation. There must also be no reasonable means of escape for this defense to apply.
- Defending Property – You are allowed to act in defense of your property, so if someone breaks into your house, you can defend your home and property. Likewise, if someone tries to snatch your wallet and you punch them, this could be protected action under the defense of property theory. But be careful, because under almost no circumstances can you use deadly force to protect property. You can use force, but not deadly force.
- Consent – This can be a tricky defense. In certain situations, the “victim” can be said to have consented to the harmful contact. This can apply to a football game where a player is injured by another player, to sexual assault where the defendant claims that the alleged victim consented.
Compassionate Rio Rancho Assault and Battery Attorneys Here to Defend You
Assault and battery charges can change your life, but they don’t necessarily have to. At the New Mexico Criminal Law Offices, our Rico Rancho assault and battery lawyers have the experience to be able to look at the facts of your case and determine if there are any defenses that can work for you. Each case is different. We pride ourselves on listening to the details our clients convey to us, sifting out possible holes in the prosecution’s case, and working with you to get the best possible result for your situation.
Our firm has spent years defending clients against assault and battery as well as against charges of DUI, Domestic Violence, Sex Crimes, drug crimes, and many other practice areas. Let us put our experience to work for you. Call our office, or use our online contact form to tell us about your case today.