If a crime (assault/battery) occurs in one state yet both people involved both live in a different state; where would the case be tried?

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If a crime (assault/battery) occurs in one state yet both people involved both live in a different state; where would the case be tried?

My friend and I got in a fight, he says he supposedly made the first physical contact, I honestly don’t remember anything from that night. While he made the first physical contact, I apparently did more damage to him; no bleeding but bruises and according to him I hit him in the head quite hard. We were alone, just drinking and hanging out so I cannot say how much is true. We came to terms the next day, I said I did not remember hurting him so badly but if I did I apologize. Police never involved. Month later, he has found he has a blood clot in his brain, potentially fatal. What could happen

Asked on June 16, 2009 under Personal Injury, North Dakota

Answers:

M.S., Member, Connecticut Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

There are several issues at play here.  You may have both criminal and civil liability.  The first issue is causation.  Can anyone demonstrate, with any degree of certainty, that the blood clot was the result of your fight?  If not, your liability may be limited.  Second, according to the facts that you have provided, you may have a valid self-defense claim, if he admits to having attacked you first.  Third, from a jurisdictional perspective, in the criminal context it would depend on if and what police department the alleged crime is reported to.  If your friend does not report this to the police, chances are it will not be investigated due to the fact that the nexus between the injury (the blood clot) does not appear to be firmly established.  From a civil perspective, the lawsuit would potentially be filed where the incident occurred, or where either of the parties reside, or, since you reside in different states, in federal court.

Nevertheless, since your potential liability extends to your friend's death (if he in fact dies as a result of injuries that you inflicted) I strongly suggest you consult with and/or retain an attorney immediately.


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