Will I be charged with assault?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Will I be charged with assault?

Me and a friend where at a wedding both drinking.
On the way home I was punched 6/7 times then
when vehicle stopped taken to the ground I then
punched her back in self defense which resulted in a
bloody nose. She got up and tried to continue to
attack me. Will I be charged with assault?

Asked on June 21, 2018 under Criminal Law, Minnesota


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You could be charged if the authorities believe either or both of:
1) You hit her after she had hitting you and posed no more threat--you can't retaliate for being hit, but can only use force to defend yourself and stop an attack, which means that if the attack has stopped before you use force, that is not self defense; and/or
2) It was fighting by "mutual consent": basically, if two people "agree" to fight or both engage in conduct leading to the fight, then regardless of who punched first and who second, both are considered to have committed assault--you cannot instigate a fight and then claim self defense when the fight you helped cause occurs.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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