Residents in West Virginia may benefit form understanding more about potential defense strategies for assault and battery charges. Some of the common defenses for these types of offenses include self-defense, defense of others, defense of property and consent. People accused of sexual assault may be able to use consent as a defense. If the complainant has voluntarily conceded to a particular act, than that same act may not be classified as battery or assault. Once the act supersedes the complainant's consent, the accused may be subject to battery or assault charges.
Regardless of whether they were permissible, some actions may be considered to be violation of public policy and warrant charges for battery or assault. Defending property from being illegally withheld or invaded may also be a viable defense against assault or battery charges. The success of this strategy typically depends on laws that vary from state to state. People are rarely entitled to use force for defending personal property. Exceptions usually involve situations when the property was directly stolen, and the accused was using reasonable force to retrieve the personal item.
When a residential property is involved, the homeowner is usually entitled to use reasonable force to defend the property. Self-defense is the most common justification for people being accused of committing battery or assault. The accused must have perceived fear of harm or unlawful force and had no intention to commit harm. Defending others from a real and genuinely perceived fear of harm is another justification that abides by similar limitations.
People accused of committing violent crimes typically benefit from confiding in a criminal defense lawyer. Legal counsel may be able to investigate the charges and help construct a viable defense for the accused. Even if lawyers cannot obtain an acquittal or dismissal, the defendant may still be able to receive a favorable plea bargain.