Civil Battery Defenses
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What Is Civil Battery?
Civil battery is the intentional act of causing offensive contact or physical harm to a person without that person’s consent. It is different from civil assault, which is the intentional act of placing someone in fear or reasonable apprehension of a harmful or offensive contact.
Are There Any Defenses I Can Use Against a Civil Battery Claim?
Yes. The specific civil battery defenses available to the defendant will depend on the facts of the plaintiff’s case. The most common defenses to civil battery are:
- Self-Defense: A person has the legal right to defend themselves against a physical attack by the plaintiff. The defendant is required to use the same amount of force the plaintiff used.
- Consent: A plaintiff forfeits their legal right to sue when they give permission for the harmful or offensive contact to occur. The plaintiff can give permission verbally or non-verbally.
- Assumption of the Risk: The plaintiff knew and voluntarily accepted the risks and dangers involved in the conduct by proceeding to engage in the conduct. This defense usually comes up when a battery occurs while the plaintiff and the defendant are playing a contact sport.
What If I Did Not Intend to Commit Battery?
Lack of intent is a defense to battery. It can be used when there is proof the defendant did not intend to actually commit a battery.
What If I Am Defending Property and Not Myself?
Self-defense cannot be used as a defense where the battery was committed while the defendant was defending their property. However, they are generally permitted to claim the defense of property in this situation. This defense allows the defendant to protect his property from the plaintiff using reasonable force. Deadly force is not allowed in defending property.
How Can I Prove My Defense?
For defendant to prove that they are not liable for the harm caused in a battery case, they can use the following forms of evidence:
- Witness testimony
- Physical evidence from the scene
- Any pictures or video footage
- Audio recordings
- Text messages
Do I Need an Attorney to Help Me with My Case?
It is in your best interests to contact a personal injury attorney about civil battery defenses. A lawyer can provide you with legal advice.
Consult a Lawyer - Present Your Case Now!
Last Modified: 07-27-2015 03:18 PM PDT
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