If someone pushes me, not just once but twice, do I have the legal right to punch them? - Criminal Law Questions and Answers- LawQA.com

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If someone pushes me, not just once but twice, do I have the legal right to punch them?

My two 16-year-old sons were walking home from school. Two other boys came up on them. My sons told both of them to get back into their car, several times.( I know this because it is on tape) of course they did not and one of them pushed my son TWICE before my son finally punched the kid right in the face and then it was on. Are my sons at fault? They were threatened and tried to avoid the situation in the first place. Personally, I wouldn't have waited for the second shove.


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there is a delicate balance between defending yourself and becoming an aggressor. I cannot answer the question accurately without knowing all of the facts. Do you remember the Rodney King fiasco on television? Whatever happened before the video cameras were turned on was irrelevant. He was on the ground, and as the cop came at him with the baton, he put up his arm in self defense mode, but the cop attacked him. That is when the cop became the aggressor and should have been kicked off the police force.

Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 4/1/2013

Answer By Erven Nelson

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Sounds like self defense to me.

Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 3/30/2013

Michael Breczinski
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If this is necessary I order to defend yourself then the answer is yes.

Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 3/24/2013

Answer By Steve Lombardi
Lombardi Law Firm
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I'm not sure punching someone that pushed you would be considered "like force" in self defense.

Answer Applies to: Iowa
Replied: 3/23/2013

Answer By Ernest Krause

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Seems like your son acted in self-defense.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/23/2013

Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
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The persons in the car committed a battery on your son. He had the right to defend himself. Your other son could plead defense of others. They both can plead self-defense if they are charged.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/22/2013

Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
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I would need further information to answer,such as were charges brought against your sons. If charges are brought your sons may have the defense of self defense, and you should hire an attorney and disclose all the facts and circumstances.

Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 3/22/2013


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People have the privilege to defend themselves with force proportionate to the threat. It's best to avoid these situations. Also, one person's account of an incident will not necessarily be the same as someone else's.

Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
Replied: 3/22/2013

Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
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You have the right to defend yourself. Not clear what happened here. your son told them to get back in the car? who gives your son the right to tell people what to do? I am suggesting that maybe he was part of the problem and it may not have been all clearly one way. Get the whole story.

Answer Applies to: North Carolina
Replied: 3/22/2013


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Self-defense permits a person to use not more than the same force which confronts them. So for instance if a person used non-deadly force to confront you, you may use equal force to defend yourself. However, you may not use deadly force to defend yourself when confronted with non-deadly force. An attorney can assist you with evaluating the prosecution's case, any defenses that you might have, and any plea offer that might be made, so that you can decide whether to plea bargain or go to trial. If you were to be found guilty, then an attorney can assist you with presenting mitigation, allocution, and a recommendation for a more lenient sentence. and a recommendation for a more lenient sentence. Consider seeking a confidential consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney. Beware that online posts are not confidential. If somehow the prosecution were to find your post, then it might be used in evidence against you.

Answer Applies to: Maryland
Replied: 3/22/2013

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