In the blink of an eye, a domestic argument can turn into a physical altercation. When someone ends up injured in one of these disputes, then the police might be called, and you might find yourself in handcuffs accused of battery. What are your defense options if this happens to you?
You might have a few strategies available to you, but the strongest may be self-defense.
A primer on Missouri’s self-defense laws
Under Missouri law, you have the right to use physical force if you reasonably believe that such use of force is necessary to defend yourself or someone else from the imminent use of illegal force.
There are caveats, however. For example, you can’t use force to defend yourself if you’re the initial aggressor or if the other person has withdrawn from the conflict prior to your use of force.
Proving your self-defense case
It’s important to note that self-defense is an affirmative defense, which means that the burden is going to fall on you to show that you acted appropriately under the law. That can be hard to do, but your own testimony as well as that of other witnesses may prove helpful.
The location of your injuries can be helpful evidence, and you may be able to attack the aggressor’s credibility, too, both of which can support your self-defense argument.
The facts matter
The facts of your situation are critical to your ability to utilize self-defense in your criminal case. However, if you have an experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorney on your side, then you might be better positioned to argue the facts in your favor.