Can both party’s file charges in a domestic violence situation?

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Can both party’s file charges in a domestic violence situation?

My mother punched me while I was at her home. In defending myself I only restrained her (did not hit her at all), then my sister and stepfather started hitting me. My husband pulled me from underneath all of them and we left. I have a minor concussion with a strained neck and my mother claims the inside of her lip is bruised (it wasn’t before I left the house). I went to the hospital so my injuries are noted as being true from the incident. This is not the first time my mother has attacked me but I want it to stop it. I won’t unless she see’s that she does not have the right to hit me anymore.

Asked on November 26, 2011 under Criminal Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Yes, both parties can file charges in a domestic violence situation. As a more general matter, the fact that person  A is accused of being the perpetrator of some criminal act does not mean that A cannot press charges against B, whom (s)he feels committed a crime at the same time. So, for example, if person A hit person B, person A committed assault; if B then later hit A (not in the course of defending herself), B has committed assault, too.


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