Black belt laws

Asked almost 3 years ago - New York, NY

There always have been myths that if you are a black belt in any type martial arts that you have to register your hands as lethal weapons. Is this true? And also I heard that if you get into a fight, you must tell your opponent that your a black belt prior to the fight. On top of that, the police/courts will be harsher on you knowing that you are a martial arts expert when the law comes around. Is any of this true?

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Michael Lewis Marley

    Pro

    Contributor Level 14

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . LOL, I remember this old "chestnut" from grammar school days. It was all the talk at recess.

    Now, as an attorney doing criminal defense and also heavily involved in pro boxing, I can reveal that not even Mike Tyson or Muhammad Ali ever had to "register" their hands as lethal weapons. It's the same for MMA stars, karate and judo practitioners, etc., it may even be true for Chuck Norris but I won't go there.

    Certainly, in a trial someone's martial arts or fighting ability, can be an important factor. But you aptly describe the registering of mighty hands with the police as what it is, a myth.

    It's certainly a durable myth, I will say that.

    Law Office Of Michael Marley
    Phone 917 853 4484

  2. Eric Edward Rothstein

    Contributor Level 20

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . I've never heard of black belt laws. The only thing you said that makes any sense is that a DA will be tougher against someone who is a black belt and uses the martial art to commit an assault.

    I am a former federal and State prosecutor and now handle criminal defense and personal injury/civil rights cases.... more
  3. Richard C. Southard

    Pro

    Contributor Level 19

    Answered . I agree with Mr. Rothstein, I can see the DA being harsher on a black belt in a traditional fight because of the unfair advantage. Think of it as a 5th grader beating up someone in Kindergarten. I believe that registering your hands as weapons is an urban legend.

    Richard Southard
    212-385-8600
    I am a former Deputy Bureau Chief with the Kings County DA’s Office with over 15 years experience specializing in criminal law cases. I offer free in-person, phone and video consultations.

    All answers are for information purposes only. Answering this question or any future questions does not form any... more
  4. Brian Coleman Kelly

    Contributor Level 14

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . If someone is hurt in a fight. You will be evaluated harshly by a court. You are the expert.

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