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Can I get arrested for defending myself?

Brockton, MA |

I live in a gated Condo complex. I went to the dumpster to discard some old clothes. There was a man in it and he started grabbing at me to get the things I was throwing out. I went to the guard to tell him and said just make sure you shred everything. I told him I was getting a permit for mace and the next time I will mace him if he lays a hand on me. I was told I could get arrested. Is this true?

Attorney Answers 1

Posted

The only way you could get arrested for defending yourself is if the force you use clearly exceeds what is reasonable in asserting the defense. For example, if someone comes at you with a broomstick and you strike them away you would be fine. If you shot someone under the same circumstances you could be charged with a crime.

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3 comments

Terri D. Leary

Terri D. Leary

Posted

You could get arrested because the police may not be able to determine exactly who was at fault or what exactly happened at the time o the incident. But the likelihood of your being convicted would be slim if you were truly defending yourself. Also, it is important to know the law in your state regarding weapons because some states have weapons licenses that include mace, and it is illegal to carry without the proper license.

Paul Domenic Petruzzi

Paul Domenic Petruzzi

Posted

Is the guy still living in your dumpster?

Matisyahu Wolfberg

Matisyahu Wolfberg

Posted

this is a messy case, you should contact a lawyer.

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