Defenses to Assault and Battery

Law about assault and battery and gavel concept

Charges of assault and battery span a wide range of criminal conduct. Depending on the circumstances that led to the criminal charge, you could be facing anything from a Class 2 misdemeanor for a simple assault to a felony assault charge that could lead to hefty fines and years in prison.

The defenses available to you will depend on the unique circumstances of your case. Still, there are common defenses that an assault and battery lawyer can raise when someone is facing criminal charges in North Carolina.

When you work with criminal defense attorney Ryan Stowe, he will evaluate your circumstances, determine which defenses are available, and prepare a vigorous legal defense.

Proving a Case of Assault and Battery

The extent to which North Carolina criminalizes different types of assault and battery will depend on whether aggravating circumstances were present, how severely the victim was injured, whether a deadly weapon was involved, and if the victim was a member of a protected class.

As in any criminal case, the prosecution must prove every element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. In a case of assault and battery, this means the prosecutor must present evidence that you intentionally caused harm to the victim.

An experienced assault defense lawyer can expose weaknesses in the state’s case by vigorously cross-examining witnesses, challenging the elements necessary to prove that a crime was committed, and presenting an alternate, non-criminal explanation for the circumstances that led to your arrest.


Self-defense is one of the most common defenses to an assault and battery charge. When you claim self-defense, you are telling the court that your use of force was necessary to protect yourself from harm. To succeed, you must show that you were threatened with harm, did not provoke the attack, and were unable to retreat or otherwise remove yourself from the situation.

Defense of Others

Defense of others means that you used physical force to protect someone else. To succeed, you must show that you genuinely feared that someone else was in danger and that your use of force was necessary to protect them from harm.

Defense of Property

Claiming defense of property might be a viable defense, particularly if you were defending your home. A defense of property claim can be particularly persuasive if your home was being invaded or if someone was trying to steal something from your person, like a wallet or purse.


Consent is a common defense in cases involving allegations of sexual battery. If the victim consented to the use of force, the encounter cannot be considered an assault.

Constitutional Defenses

As in any criminal case, you may have a constitutional defense available, such as

  • Forced confession
  • Illegal search or seizure
  • Lack of Miranda warnings
  • Failure to obtain a warrant

When You Need an Assault and Battery Lawyer, Contact The Stowe Law Firm

If you have been charged with assault and battery in North Carolina, the Stowe Law Firm, PLLC, can help.

Based in Salisbury, North Carolina, the Stowe Law Firm defends people throughout the state who have been charged with assault and battery. Assault and battery defense attorney Ryan Stowe will analyze the circumstances of your arrest and prepare a legal defense to protect your rights and minimize the likelihood of a conviction.

The Stowe Law Firm proudly represents people in and around Salisbury, North Carolina, and throughout Rowan County, Cabarrus County, and the surrounding areas.

Contact us today to schedule a confidential consultation to discuss your situation and how we can help.