Are there Defenses to Assault and Battery Charges?

Are there Defenses to Assault and Battery Charges?

Are there Defenses to Assault and Battery Charges?

In Montana, assault is categorized as a misdemeanor offense. According to the state's assault statute, a person can be charged with assault if they intentionally or knowingly cause bodily injury to another person, make physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature, or create a reasonable apprehension of bodily injury in another individual. Additionally, if a person negligently causes bodily injury to another with a weapon, it can also be considered assault.

On the other hand, aggravated assault is classified as a felony offense in Montana. Aggravated assault occurs when a person purposely or knowingly inflicts serious bodily injury upon another person or when they cause reasonable apprehension of serious bodily injury or death through the use of physical force or contact.

Assault with a weapon is another felony assault offense in Montana. It involves a person intentionally or knowingly causing bodily injury to another person using a weapon or causing reasonable apprehension of serious bodily injury in another by using a weapon or something that appears to be a weapon.

It's important to note that these definitions and classifications may vary depending on the specific language and interpretation of Montana law. If you have specific questions or concerns about assault charges, it's advisable to consult with a legal professional who specializes in criminal law in Montana.

People can have certain valid defenses in these cases that may include:

  • Self-Defense — Montana Code § 45-3-102 establishes that a person is justified in the use of force or threat to use force against another person when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that the conduct is necessary for self-defense or the defense of another against the other person's imminent use of unlawful force. However, a person will only be justified in the use of force likely to cause death or serious bodily harm only if the person reasonably believes that the force is necessary to prevent imminent death or serious bodily harm to the person or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.

    Montana Code § 45-3-110 further clarifies that a person who is lawfully in a place or location and is threatened with bodily injury or loss of life has no duty to retreat from a threat or summon law enforcement assistance prior to using force. Whereas the Castle Doctrine (or Castle Law) is state common law that gives citizens the right to defend themselves in their homes, cars, or workplaces, Montana Code § 45-3-110 is the state Stand Your Ground law in which people can defend themselves in any location in which they feel threatened.

  • False Accusations — People who have been falsely accused of committing an assault in Montana should be sure to exercise their rights to remain silent. This means that you should not even say anything to police officers when they are questioning you about your incident because there is a chance that you may inadvertently say something that will be used against you in a prosecution later on.

    It can be very important for people in these situations to gather as much evidence proving their innocence as possible. Witnesses to altercations who can attest to a lack of assault will be enormously helpful in these cases.

It is important for people facing assault charges to have strong legal representation to ensure their rights are protected and that they receive a fair defense. A skilled Billings assault attorney can provide guidance, build a strong defense strategy, and advocate on behalf of the defendant throughout the legal process.

Some people could plead to lesser charges to avoid more severe sentences. Plea bargaining involves pleading guilty to reduced charges or a lower sentence. If you are considering accepting a plea bargain, it’s critical to retain an attorney so you can be sure that you get the best deal possible.

Call a Montana Criminal Defense Lawyer Today

Scheveck & Salminen Law, PLLC aggressively defends clients facing all kinds of assault charges in Montana. Contact our firm to arrange a free consultation.