A Former Prosecutor Defending Clients in Wyoming and South Dakota
If you were involved in a fight and have been arrested for criminal assault and battery, you probably have questions about what kinds of penalties you might be facing, whether you’ll have to go to jail, and whether you can use Wyoming self defense laws to defend you against charges of assault and battery. Depending on the specifics of your unique situation, you may be able to use Wyoming self defense laws if you were defending yourself or if you were defending others. It may also be relevant whether you knew that the other party had a propensity for violence.
Because a conviction for assault and battery can carry a lengthy prison sentence and a hefty fine, it’s important that you hire a Wyoming criminal defense attorney who has experience defending people accused of criminal assault and battery.
A conviction for assault and battery can carry hefty fines and penalties. If you’ve been charged with assault and battery and believe you were acting in self defense, you need a skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney who knows and understands Wyoming self defense law, and can argue persuasively to a judge and jury to help you avoid conviction.
Assault and battery are actually two separate crimes. Assault is the unlawful attempt to injure someone else, while battery occurs when someone is actually injured. Because an assault often comes before a battery, people are frequently charged with both.
In Wyoming, criminal assault is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $750.
Criminal battery is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 months in prison and a fine of up to $750.
Aggravated assault and battery, which occurs when a person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly attempts to cause serious bodily injury to another person or attempts to cause bodily injury to another person using a deadly weapon, is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
Because the consequences of a conviction for criminal assault and battery can be severe, it’s important that you work with a skilled and experienced Wyoming criminal defense attorney to defend you against these charges. Depending on the circumstances of your situation, you may be able to use Wyoming self defense laws in response to charges of assault and battery.
Claiming self defense changes the dynamic of a criminal case because, unlike most other criminal cases, the defendant must prove self defense. Specifically, to claim self defense you must be able to show that you were threatened with bodily injury, that your fear of bodily injury was reasonable, and that you used an appropriate amount of force in response.
To establish that your fear of imminent bodily injury was reasonable, a judge or jury will consider the circumstances surrounding your use of force, and may also consider how well you knew the aggressor, and if you knew that the aggressor had a propensity for violent behavior.
The fear of bodily injury must be reasonable. For example, if someone points a gun at you but you know the gun is not loaded, you are probably not in imminent fear of death or bodily injury. But in the same scenario, if you do not know that the gun is not loaded, you very well could be in imminent fear of death or bodily injury which would justify your use of reasonable force in response.
You may also be able to use Wyoming self defense laws in response to an assault and battery charge if you were defending others. Much the same as if you were defending yourself, you must be able to prove that you had a reasonable belief that someone else was in danger of death or imminent bodily injury, that the perceived threat was reasonable, and that you used a reasonable amount of force in response.
A reasonable amount of force is one that is necessary to protect you or someone else from imminent bodily injury or death. Generally, you are permitted to use the same amount of force as is being threatened against you. If you are in a fist fight and use a knife, the amount of force you used was likely excessive. Likewise, using a gun to defend yourself in a knife fight would likely be excessive.
Proving self defense can be difficult. Witnesses are often confused. They may give conflicting statements, or contradict one another. At The Law Office of Christina L. Williams, my team of criminal defense professionals will dig deep in search of evidence that supports a Not Guilty verdict. We will use inconsistent and contradictory witness statements to try to keep the jury from finding you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
If you’re facing charges of assault and battery in Wyoming, contact the team of criminal defense professionals at The Law Office of Christina L. Williams. Call us at 307-686-6556, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or complete our online form.
DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article is offered for educational purposes only. This information is not offered as legal advice. A person accused of a crime should always consult with an attorney before making decisions that have legal consequences.