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Miami Lawyers List Common Legal Defenses Against Assault Charges

Miami Lawyers List Common Legal Defenses Against Assault Charges

Being charged with assault can be scary. Even if you’re innocent, proving it can be hard without a good lawyer. Miami defense attorneys see many assault cases, so they know the best defenses. Here are some common ways lawyers defend clients against assault accusations in Miami.


One of the top defenses for assault is self-defense. If someone attacks you first, you can fight back to protect yourself. The key is only using equal force needed to stop the threat. You can’t use excessive force and claim self-defense. There are specific laws about what qualifies as self-defense. A lawyer can argue you acted reasonably to protect yourself.

Defense of Others

Like self-defense, you can legally defend others with reasonable force. If you see someone in danger of harm, you can intervene to protect them. This applies to defending family, friends, or strangers. You just have to prove immediate danger and equal force. Defense of others follows the same rules as self-defense.

Lack of Intent

Most assault charges require intent. You must have meant to commit violence. If harm was an accident, it may not be assault. For example, if you trip and fall into someone, that isn’t assault. You didn’t intend to hurt them. Lack of intent can apply to threats too. If you didn’t mean something as a threat, it may not qualify as assault.

Mistaken Identity

Sometimes you get accused of assaulting someone you’ve never met. This can happen from mistaken identity. If the victim wrongly identifies you, it’s not assault. Your lawyer can argue the victim is confused or lying. Eyewitnesses make mistakes often. Their memory of events may be unreliable. This creates reasonable doubt about your guilt.

Mental Illness

Mental illness can be a defense against assault if it kept you from understanding your actions. Disorders like schizophrenia may distort reality. Symptoms like delusions and hallucinations could make you unable to control behavior. Being found legally insane means you aren’t criminally responsible. Treatment, not jail time, is the outcome.


Being extremely impaired by drugs or alcohol could be a defense. If you were so intoxicated that you couldn’t form intent, it may not be assault. This depends on the circumstances and level of impairment. Voluntary intoxication rarely works as a defense. But involuntary intoxication, like someone spiking your drink, has a better chance.


For assault charges involving sexual contact, consent is a key issue. Physical force during sex doesn’t qualify as assault if both parties consented. But consent under threat, coercion, or incapacitation doesn’t count. An experienced lawyer can argue consent and fight sexual assault charges.


Any statements you make to police can be used against you. Even admitting minor details can harm your case. Never talk to police without an attorney present after an arrest. Pleading the Fifth protects against self-incrimination. Let your lawyer do the talking to avoid accidentally confessing.

Illegal Search

The Fourth Amendment protects against unreasonable search and seizure. If police improperly gathered evidence, your lawyer can request suppression. Fingerprints, DNA, weapons, etc. can get thrown out if obtained illegally. This weakens the prosecution’s case and improves your odds of acquittal.

Statute of Limitations

For assault crimes in Florida, charges must be filed within 3 years. The clock starts when the incident occurred. If prosecution waits too long, the statute of limitations expires. An experienced lawyer knows how to argue the expiration and get charges dismissed based on late filing.

These are just some of the ways Miami criminal defense attorneys defend assault charges. An aggressive lawyer thoroughly investigates the facts and finds the best defense. Don’t take chances by going it alone against assault accusations.


Florida Self Defense Laws

Florida Self Defense Limitations

Florida Defense of Others

Eyewitness Misidentification

Schizophrenia Symptoms

Intoxication Defense

Exclusionary Rule

Florida Statute of Limitations

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