In Tacoma, Washington assault cases, defendants do not have to offer a defense or otherwise establish that they did not commit the charged offense. In many instances, though, a defendant will argue that the actions out of which their charges arose were taken in self-defense and, therefore, were lawful. If the State disproves a defendant’s self-defense argument beyond a reasonable doubt, however, the defendant may be found guilty. Recently, in the Court of Appeals in Tacoma, Washington, the court discussed what evidence is needed to demonstrate that the use of force was lawful in a matter in which it affirmed a juvenile’s adjudication of guilt for assault. If you are charged with an assault offense, it is advisable to meet with a Tacoma assault crime defense attorney to evaluate your options.
History of the Case
It is alleged that the defendant and the victim were both high school students. The defendant was approximately 200 pounds lighter than the victim, but both appeared to be in reasonably fit condition. They had a verbal altercation, during which the defendant called the victim a gay slur, and the victim stated he was gay.
Reportedly, they had a second encounter later in the day that escalated into a physical altercation. The victim approached the defendant and slapped him on the arm, after which the two fell to the ground. The victim was striking the defendant when the defendant pulled a knife out of his pocket and stabbed the victim repeatedly. The defendant was charged with assault in the first degree. During the trial, he argued he acted in self-defense. The judge rejected the defense and found him guilty of assault in the second degree, and he appealed. Continue reading