Can I get arrested for defending myself?

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?

Brockton, MA -

Attorney Answers (1)

Christopher Joseph Fein

Christopher Joseph Fein

Business Attorney - Braintree, MA
Answered

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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