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Viable defenses to both tortious and criminal battery are similar. A defendant may raise lack of intent, especially in criminal battery, and in those circumstances tending to show accidental behavior. Another commonly-invoked defense, especially where a battery results in physical injury, is self-defense or the defense of others or property. These are the only true defenses, and other issues raised (lack of harm or injury, provocation, etc.) are merely mitigating factors. A defense of contributory negligence cannot be raised in a claim for intentional tort.

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