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How far does self-defense go when being assaulted (TX)?

White Oak, TX |

A friend of mine got into it with her boyfriend. He spit on her&she did push him, but then tried to walk away. He grabbed her, bit her, and as she was trying to get away, he punched her in the face. She did fight back, but then left. Would she get into trouble if she filed a report? She's scared and doesn't know what to do..

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

Force is justified when and to the degree it is reasonably believed to be immediately necessary to protect oneself from injury. Does she have visible injuries? Bite marks? Bruising? Physical evidence to back up her story would help her credibility. Waiting to a later date can also increase the risk an officer would not want to make a report or that a prosecutor may decline to take the case.

She could stand some risk of trouble if she admitted to becoming physically aggressive by only being provoked or angry. Any force she used to defend herself woud hopefully be viewed as justified. What you described sounds like she was assaulted, but she may have also committed Assault. If she makes a report, someone will probably get arrested- maybe both of them. It depends on which cop on what day in what mood she catches them. There's really no one right answer for her.

If she feel like she is a victim of inappropriate violence, she should do something to change her situation. Filing a police report on the circumstances you described is one of her options.

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Posted

She ended up having to go to the hospital, because she needed stitches in her lip. She took multiple pictures and printed them out, though her lip is only bruised now. Also, she has pictures of the bitemark; however, it's faint. About the "certain cop on a good day" is what I thought. So, she's pretty much screwed if she actually takes action against him?

Asker

Posted

I/her really appreciate your honesty. Thank you.

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Posted

I apologize for spreading these out.. Would he definitely get into trouble, perhaps more than her, if she files?

Jim Mitchell Medley

Jim Mitchell Medley

Posted

If she had injuries as you described, she should file charges.

Posted

Here is some information to make a report in Gregg County:

Gregg County Sheriff
101 E. Methvin, Suite 559
Longview, TX 75601
(903) 236-8400

Victim Assistance Coordinator
Greg County Criminal District Attorney
101 E. Methvin Street, Ste. 333
Longview, TX 75601
(903) 236-8440

Educational purposes answer. | FACDL.org | NACDL.org | Defendme.net | twitter.com/JReganLLM | Non-privileged answer.

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Posted

Well, you're being a little vague about exactly how she "did fight back," but if she was punched in the face I would say that's enough to make a report to the police. She should photograph any injuries she suffered--bruises, scratches, bite marks, etc. It is unlikely that the police would arrest her for her actions when she was the one making the report. I do sometimes see the victim arrested on scene in all the confusion of who did what to who first, but I have never seen this happen when the report is made after the fact. If she is concerned, she should consult a criminal defense before contacting the police.

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Posted

Well. She had a splint on her wrist from a fight they had had before, and she swung and got him in the forehead. He only had a lump, very doubtful that he went to the hospital. It was like once she got her arms free, that was the only thing she could do was swing.. Also, like i said, she did take photographs and print them out. I have seen the victims arrested, as well. That's what she's scared of. She's just trying to do what's right, so he doesn't do it again to someone else. He's very verbally abusive, and telling her that she'll get in 'more trouble' than him and 'no one will believe her' type of thing.

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