Fights happen, and a fight may lead to battery charges. Even if you're sure that you have a credible defense such as an opponent's fighting words or your right to self-defense, you need to think like a battery lawyer. A battery attorney will tell you to do these four things if you're facing charges or worried that charges might be coming.
If possible, try to write down the names of any potential witnesses that were present. Note if there were any security cameras in the vicinity. Fights in public places often occur at locations of high concern, such as bars. They often have surveillance. Likewise, there are usually witnesses present. Especially in the modern age, those witnesses may even have had their cell phones recording video and audio at the time.
When things calm down and you have the time, write down your version of the events preceding the fight. Memories fade faster than you'd expect, and you want to provide a battery lawyer with your best recollection from as close to the fight as possible.
Avoid Contacting the Other Party
Even if the other party seems to be apologetic, refrain from discussing the case with them. Under no circumstances should you contact them. If they contact you, decline to discuss anything. Should they insist that they have something worth your time, then you can give them your attorney's phone number. Leave the conversation there.
You would also be wise to avoid discussing the case with others. Keep the conversation to you and your attorney until the courts have resolved the matter.
Comply with Police and Court Orders
The police may arrest you on the scene after the fight. Comply with all of their instructions if they do. Tell them that you're asserting your right to remain silent until you've discussed the situation with a battery attorney.
Even if the cops don't immediately arrest you, the state may press charges later. Ideally, your lawyer can make arrangements for you to surrender at an appropriate time and place if there's an arrest warrant. If the police serve a warrant, comply with their orders.
Explore Legal Defenses
There are several potential defenses. Self-defense is a common argument. Some states have fighting-words laws that assume excessive antagonism will elicit a violent response. You could argue there was no intent to harm anyone. Also, you might argue that you weren't there or didn't participate in the fight. Even intoxication is a defense in some cases, especially if both parties were intoxicated. Plea bargaining or pleading guilty may be an option, too.
For more information, contact a battery lawyer near you.
After I was accused of committing crime that I knew I wasn't guilty of, I realized that there were a few things I needed to take care of, and fast. For starters, I needed to focus on fighting for my reputation by working with a criminal attorney. I started looking around for a great lawyer who was qualified to take my case, and I was able to find a professional that I really felt comfortable with. They had a ton of experience and a commitment to keeping me happy, and within a few short months I was proven innocent. This blog is all about fighting for what you know is right.