Can a person be charged with aggravated assault if it was self defense?

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Can a person be charged with aggravated assault if it was self defense?

For the past 7-8 years my husband’s brother has threatened and terrorized our family. He is a drugaddict and an alcoholic. He has been in jail several times. The police have come many times because he has threatened to kill us. The man is mentally unstable. Out of respect for his mother, my husband has always restrained himself and walked away, at least until now. Hisbrother hit my husband from behind and my husband snapped and hit back. He did some serious damage to his face and is now being charged with aggravated assault. He did not use any weapons, he only used his hands. Should we hire a lawyer to fight?

Asked on January 1, 2012 under Criminal Law, Maine

Answers:

Russ Pietryga / Pietryga Law Office

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Self-defense is an affirmative defense to a crime.  In your case, it is aggravated assualt.  I assume, the extent of the injuries mad it aggravated.

Usually, when you assert self-defense, you testify that the assualt happened but it was self-defense.  Unfortunetly, because of this, you have to argue it to a jury.  Wherefore, you are going to need an attorney to do the trial.

Note, if you can convience the prosecuting attorney that it was self-defense, he may reduce the charrge to something more realistic.


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