A cab driver wouldn't accept my credit card for payment and we had no cash. We exited the taxi and the cab driver got out and began chasing my girlfriend and I. We tried to run from him, but he caught up to us and we got into a fight.
If you have been arrested you need a criminal attorney. You left without paying your bill or making alternate arrangements. Although I do not practice criminal law I doubt that his alleged assault would normally justify your battery. Other lawyers who practice in the field may feel differently.
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You can use reasonable force to protect yourself or others who are acting outside of the law. I imagine there is a lot more to this story. No doubt you need a criminal defense attorney.
The above information does not establish an attorney client relationship nor is it meant to provide legal advice.
Self defense is very techinical and even minor changes in the facts can change whether or not you could defend yourself. Its hard to tell on these facts but you're probably ok. One of things that matters is who hit who first and under what circumstances. If the taxi cab driver hit you first you are entitled to defend yourself. If you hit the taxi cab driver first then it matters why you hit him. If you hit him because you were mad that he chased you - that's a problem. If you hit hin first because you believed he was about to hit either you or your girlfriend that's different.
You should contact a local attorney for help on this - especially if you are contacted by law enforcement.
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Most likely no trouble because it sounds as if the cab driver was the initial aggressor and utilized unreasonable force especially considering you were compliant with his requests. However he may be able to assert he had a privilege (shopkeeper's) to briefly detain you to get information
or the like because you committed a theft of his services when you accepted the ride for free and never paid him. I think from these facts you will not face charges for defending yourself but will for theft. You should contact a criminal lawyer in your area and explain your side in detail.
Answers to this question are for general purposes only and do not establish an attorney-client relationship
A straight answer for a not-so-straight question:
Failure to pay a taxi driver is considered theft. By chasing you to get payment, or detain you for the police, the taxi driver was within his rights. Fighting him as a resistance to him trying to detain you to get paid is not self-defense. Probably everyone knows that taxi drivers do not take credit cards. It is a cash only business.
Although in California there are laws governing the right to self-defense, one must be "in the right" before the right to self-defense applies.
Fleeing from paying a just debt is not being "in the right", or within a justifiable realm.
By responding to this question I do not intend to create an attorney-client relationship. Instead, I am offering a general response to a question that has not fully set forth all of the facts of the case, and I have read nothing related to the case other than the question posted. Therefore, I will always recommend retaining legal counsel for competent representation.
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