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If I broke someones jaw in self defense would I get in trouble?

Kent, WA |

If someone punches me first and I use self defense to punch them in the face 3 or 4 times will I get in trouble for breaking their jaw or have to pay medical bills?

If I was just standing and somebody punched me in the face, I tackle them to the ground after and punch them in the face 3 or 4 times that would likely be the situation here.

Attorney Answers 4


  1. You have a claim of self defense. The question becomes whether or not the force you used in defending yourself was excessive. I strongly suggest that you retain legal counsel to defend your interests as you may be facing serious charges. Good luck.

    Legal disclaimer: The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of Massachusetts. Responses are based solely on Massachusetts law unless stated otherwise.


  2. You have a problem here. Yes it starts out as self defense when a person hits you first and you defend yourself HOWEVER you don't have the right or the ability to "beat the other person up" Your force or defense can only rise up to the level you are facing so by getting hit once and then hitting him 3-4 times, hard enough to actually break a bone, you are in trouble of getting charged but also this could be a felony. Get an attorney now.


  3. You can claim self defense and the question for the court(if it gets that far) will be if you used excessive force.

    The answer given does not imply that an attorney-client relationship has been established and your best course of action is to have legal representation in this matter.


  4. Maybe. If this is not just a hypothetical question, then you really need to talk to an attorney in person to help protect you from a potential criminal charge and a potential civil charge. There are a lot of additional facts that would need to be known before your question can be answered in any meaningful sense, and you should not post those details on this public forum, as anything you say can potentially be used against you in court.

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