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Loren, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 33564
Experience:  30 years experience representing clients.
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Yes my child got arrested and 10 suspension for defending himself

Customer Question

Yes my child got arrested and 10 suspension for defending himself at school against a bully. The principal told him after looking at the tape that he could have ran to the left or the right. Really!!!!! Run!!!!! Someone was picking on him all day. At the end of the school this bully came up to his locker and wouldn't let my son go around him. He put his books down then my son proceeded to put his books down the boy touched him and my son tried to punch him and off it went. My child did not go looking for this fight. It was brought to him. What coarse of action can I take. I am so tired of the school systems on this matter. A child should have a right to defend himself ANYWHERE!!!!!
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 3 years ago.

Hello Jacustomer,

The law defines self defense differently from the way many non-lawyers see it. In many states there is a duty first for the victim to try to retreat from the aggressor. Your school is saying that your son had an opportunity to avoid the fight and so it wasn't self-defense.

Presently Maryland does not have what they call a "Stand your ground law" which allows victims to fight back without first having to try to run away when they are confronted with force outside of their home. It's apparently something that the state is hoping to rectify in 2014. Right now, however, the law of your state supports the school. YOu can see this in the news here.(see link)

You may have a case against the school if your son is being bullied and the school was negligent in their protection of him. You would have to take that up with a civil lawyer where you could sit down and give the whole history between your son and this bully as well as what the school knew about it and failed to do.

As for the criminal matter, although there is a duty to retreat, that does not mean that your son actually could have retreated, in which case he would be allowed to defend himself. The actual facts surrounding the incident would be a matter that would have to be weighed by the finder of fact -- that is, judge or jury -- if your son wants to plead not guilty and fight his case.


Please use the reply tab below to respond if you need any clarification

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Didn't tell me anything I didn't already know. Was looking for different avenues to pursue. Tookmablong time for reply.
Expert:  Loren replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for using JustAnswer. I am Loren, a licensed attorney, and I will do whatever I can to answer your question and provide excellent service.

I am sorry to hear of your dilemma.   I realize how frustrating this is for you and I hope to provide you information which is accurate and useful, even though it may not be the news you were hoping to get.

Unfortunately, your previous expert is correct on all counts. Your best course of action is to sue the school for failing to protect your son. The school has an affirmative duty to protect its students and you are entitled to damages if you can prove that duty was breached.

Additionally, you may be able to leverage your negotiations with the school using the lawsuit.

I realize this is not the answer you were hoping to receive.  Also, please remember that this is not necessarily a moral judgement on my part.   As a professional, however, I am sometimes placed in the position of having to deliver news which is not favorable to a customer's legal position, but accurately reflects their position under the law. I hate it, but it happens and I only ask that you not penalize me with a bad or poor rating for having to deliver less than favorable news.

It is my privilege to assist you. Let me know if you need further information.  I hope I have helped you beyond your expectations in the service I have provided to you.  I am here for you.
Also, be sure to verify this information with a local attorney who is familiar with your local laws and procedures.

Please remember to rate my answer when our communication is completed so I will be compensated for my time in providing you with the information you requested.

If you feel the need to provide a low rating, please stop and reply to me via the REPLY button with whatever issue or clarification you may need. I will happily answer your follow-up questions and assist you until I am able to explain the answer to your satisfaction. Please also remember that I cannot control whether the law is favorable to your situation, so please do not penalize me for having to deliver bad news.

Thank you.


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