People can find themselves charged with assault because of a fight at a restaurant or even a domestic dispute. Under state law in Massachusetts, even verbal disagreements and threatening statements could constitute assault.

Simple assault is often a misdemeanor, but it will still look bad on your criminal record. If you find yourself accused of assault, what are some potential defenses against those charges?

Can you prove you did not commit the offense?

One of the simplest defense strategies involves identifying and validating an alibi. If you can show that you were somewhere else at the time of the alleged assault, that can exonerate you and help you avoid a conviction.

Evidence from the assault could also help exonerate you. Camera footage from a nearby home or business could show that the assailant was someone else.

However, even if you were present and took part in a fight, you can still sometimes offer a defense against assault accusations.

Did you step up to defend yourself or someone else?

Just because you ended a physical fight, that doesn’t mean you were the person who started it. You may have not suffered severe injuries, but that doesn’t mean you committed a crime. If the other person struck you first and you feared for your safety or if you intervene to protect someone else from physical violence, you may be able to claim self-defense as a justification for your actions.

There are many possible defenses available to you as someone accused of assault. Reviewing the evidence that the state has against with an experienced attorney can be an important starting point for planning your criminal defense strategy.