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Push someone away when the latter came too close to you, victim did not fall on to the ground. Is this considered as assault?

California |

A fight breakout in a school & my son was dismiss from school for pushing the victim away in self-defense after the latter came too close to him. The push is not forceful as the victim did not fall onto the ground. Moreover, the fight did not start immediately. In fact, the fight only started a few minutes later and my son walked away as he DID NOT want to be involved at all. Is it right to accused my son of assaulting another person?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. If your son was acting in self-defense, this is something that should be addressed. Were there witnesses to the fight? If so, what did they see? Who will they make a statement for?

    The law of assault is the threat of violence caused by an immediate show of force. Here, it sounds based on what you wrote that this was an assault.

    NOTE: This answer is made available by an attorney licensed to practice in the state of California. The communication is intended for educational purposes only. By using or participating in this site you understand that there is no attorney client privilege between you and the attorney responding.


  2. Jason is correct. Also, if your son felt threatened, he is the one that was assaulted.


  3. Assault, like beauty, can be in the eye of the beholder. A district attorney can press charges for assault if the think one occurred. A person pushed can sue for assault if they believe they were assaulted. However, just because somebody is charged or sued, does not mean they will be convicted or lose their case. With these waxings in mind, I agree with the other contributors, that based on the facts as you presented them, this is probably a case of self defense, which is considered a defense to an assault charge.

    A person can use reasonable force to repel an assault. In this case, your son used a very small amount of force, apparently reasonably believed he would deal with an unwanted and unconsented to touching (a civil definition of assault and battery) if he did not push the other personal away, and your son then did the smart thing and left.

    Under these facts as you have provided them, most reasonable juries and judges would find your son's action were justifiable.

    Adam Sorrells
    Chico Injury Lawyer

    Disclaimer: The following was not legal advice, and cannot be relied on. For informationa purposes only. Any information provided is not a guarantee or prediction on outcome for your son's legal matter. Time is of the essence. No attorney/client relationship formed.

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