Available defenses in assault cases can vary depending on the case’s circumstances. However, when it is assumed that the basic elements of such a case are fulfilled, a Criminal Attorney in Rochester MN can use the following defenses to protect clients from assault and battery charges.


This is one of the most common defenses in assault and battery matters. To establish the use of self-defense, a client must typically show:

  *     The threat of harm or unlawful force

  *     A real fear of imminent harm

  *     No provocation or harm on their behalf

  *     No reasonable way to escape or retreat

The self-defense doctrine has numerous limitations in addition to those listed here. Just because someone acts in their own defense does not mean they can use unlimited force. Rather, the force used must be proportional to the threat posed by the aggressor. Even if the above elements are met, a person defending himself/herself may still face charges if they are substantially older, bigger or stronger than the victim is.

Defending Others

This is similar to the doctrine of self-defense, with the difference being that a person must have a real fear of imminent harm to someone else. The limitations cited above apply in these cases, and an accused person must have had a reasonable fear to establish the defense.

Defending Property

An assault/battery defendant may claim that they only acted to defend their property from invasion or illegal withholding. The extent and availability of the defense vary by jurisdiction; where it’s available, it allows a person to use a reasonable amount of force to defend their property. In most cases, a person is not allowed to use force to retrieve personal property that’s the focus of a dispute.


Consent can be used as a defense against assault and battery charges depending on the client’s location. If a person consents to an act, they cannot later claim assault or battery. However, if the act’s extent is in excess of the provided consent, the victim may still be able to file charges. Courts closely scrutinize the consent defense, and they tend to find that certain actions, regardless of consent, should still be prosecuted under the law. Consult a Criminal Attorney in Rochester MN with the Rolsch Law Offices for a free case review.