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Can I be criminally charged for using a shovel in self-defense?

Laredo, TX |

I was barbequeing when my brother threw a bowl of dog water on the meat and grill. I pushed him and said, "that's disrespectful". He grabbed a pointed side spatula and struck at my midsection. Luckily i blocked the strike but had a significant gash on my arm. I then grabbed a shovel to create space and knock out the spatula from my brothers hand. when he dropped the spatula I dropped the shovel and we had a fist fight. i hit him about six times with my fists and stopped when i saw he was stumbling. I let him go thinking he was going to leave the scene but he went inside the house and came back with a loaded gun. he pointed at me and said he was going to kill me. i reacted by stooping low and charging at him, since i didnt have a weapon on me. he pistol whipped me and fled the scene.

Attorney Answers 3


You can be charged with anything the police have probable cause to believe that you did. Whether they have probable cause often depends on whose side of the story they believe. The way you explain it, it sounds like you used a reasonable amount of force in self-defense, but that doesn't mean you can't be charged if they don't believe you. If there is any possibility that your brother contacted to police first, I would strongly suggest you contact an attorney.

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You can be charged. It just depends who the police believe. It's often a race to call the cops. I would report the offense if you haven't already.

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Charged, yes. Convicted, maybe.

There is no confidentiality online. Volunteering to answer this question does not create an attorney-client relationship. The accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The likelihood of a positive outcome- exoneration or a mitigated sentence- is increased with the help of an experienced criminal litigator. Seek out an experienced criminal litigator for a free consultation. If you cannot find one on Avvo, search at the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers ( Speak to several attorneys and hire the one that makes you feel confident and comfortable. NACDL local members:

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