It could start when you are out having a drink or during a discussion with friends. Maybe someone insults you, or maybe they threatened one of your friends. The next thing you know, you have gotten into a physical fight with someone and police are on the scene. 

If you are the one who gets arrested and charged (or if both you and the other person face charges), you may wonder what options do you have for defending against allegations of assault related to a physical fight in Missouri.

Did the other party initiate physical contact?

In a situation where the other party hit you first, you have the right to defend yourself by striking back. If security cameras, mobile phone video footage or the testimony of witnesses can help you corroborate your claim that the other party initiated the fight, you may be able to use that as part of your defense. 

Did you initiate the fight in concern for someone else’s safety?

Sometimes, you have the right to take the proverbial first swing. If the other party represented an immediate threat to you or someone else, your actions may still be considered self-defense. You could potentially use your intention of defending someone else or even yourself as an affirmative defense to assault charges after a fight. 

There are many other ways in which a person can potentially defend against assault charges in Missouri, with the exact method varying depending on the circumstances that led up to the fight. Before you plead guilty to any kind of violent criminal charge, you should first explore the options for defending yourself.