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Hammer O'Justice
Hammer O'Justice, Criminal Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 4500
Experience:  Almost 12 years of legal experience, primarily in criminal law
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I was assaulted after a verbal altercation with someone. The

Customer Question

I was assaulted after a verbal altercation with someone. The defendant is actually not the person I had the verbal altercation with but a bystander. This person is claiming they struck me because they thought I would hurt the person I was arguing with. The person I am was arguing with is testifying for me stating he escalated things, i did not threaten anyone(verbally or physically) and the defendant had no reason at all the strike me. Does the defendant have a case?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Hammer O'Justice replied 2 years ago.
It does not sound likely that the defendant has a case. He would have to have not only an objectively reasonable belief that the person's physical safety was in danger, but also most states require the use of only as much force as was necessary to protect the person. An argument alone is usually not going to be enough to support the claim that there was a reasonable belief that the other person was in physical danger. If there was the exercise of physical domination, balling of fists, pulled punches without actual contact, threats, and that sort of thing, that might give rise to a reasonable belief that the other person's safety was in danger. But if there was nothing to indicate that physical contact was imminent other than arguing, he will not likely win.