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RobertJDFL
RobertJDFL, Attorney
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Last night, my roommates girlfriend cam to the door, when he

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Last night, my roommates girlfriend cam to the door, when he opened the door she punched him hard enough to know him down and kept hitting him. He was bleeding badly. My roommate screamed get out of my house. My roommate then flipped her over on the steps and smacked her open handed and made her nose bleed, did not break it though. Her father said he is going to press charges against my roommate, however I do not believe that he is necessarily wrong because she forced her way in and assaulted him. Can someone clarify what he should do.  Should he press charges?  Both of them are graduating with MBA's in 3 weeks and although he does not want to get her in any kind of trouble, should he at least address the police with this. 

Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your question.

The girlfriend had no right to punch your roommate and hit him. That would be considered a battery, and yes, he could (and should) file a police report against her. The term "press charges" isn't really accurate, since it is the state, through the prosecutor's office, that decides whether or not to press charges - but he should file a police report.

Could the girlfriend file a police report against your roomate for him hitting her? Absolutely, but then it would be up to the police to investigate, and the prosecutors office to decide whether it was self defense or not. It's not really clear from the facts you've provided whether it was or not. If he hit the girlfriend as he was trying to get her off and to stop attacking him, I would say that's self defense. If, after she knocked him down, he was able to get away, and then hit her, I would say that is a battery - the fact that she hit him first would be irrelevant, as one doesn't justify the other, if that makes sense?

It's possible in such a situation, a prosecutor would see the case as one of "mutual combat" and not charge either one.
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