An assault conviction will have severe consequences. Even the lowest category of assault charge can result in 10 years behind bars, and the most serious type has a maximum 25-year sentence.
Taking the time to construct a solid defense argument is crucial. You cannot rely on a judge being lenient or understanding.
There are 2 main lines of defense to assault
One option is to deny the event took place. Or at least that the event took place with you involved. There are plenty of cases where people have taken a beating from someone, then decided to blame it on someone else. There are even cases where people have beaten themselves up in order to get someone convicted of assault.
If the assault did occur, the victim might have no idea who attacked them. The police may have arrested you due to a poor description given by the victim or a witness. Or because you had argued with the person earlier, so they assumed it must be you.
The second option is to admit you used violence against the other person, but it was not an assault. For instance, you had a heated discussion with someone in bar and they followed you out and started a fight. While you might have started the verbal argument, it does not mean you are to blame for any physical altercation. If they used violence on you or threatened to, you may be able to argue self-defense.
The details are often cloudy in assault cases, and the police may not get it right. Finding ways to challenge their presumptions and the evidence they present will be crucial to proving your innocence.