A buddy of mine was drinking at a bar, and some other drunk guy started an argument. My buddy ended up putting him in the hospital and is charged with 2nd degree battery. He has no priors. Is all the fault on him even though the other guy was very intoxicated?
You cannot use physical force in response to verbal abuse unless you are in serious, reasonable fear of bodily harm. As such, your friend would likely be deemed the instigator of the battery, as he initiated the unwanted and inappropriate touching of another.
Please CLICK the button if I HELPED or was BEST ANSWER. We also answer your questions on facebook- www.facebook.com/knowthelawyer, on twitter- @athleticslawyer and our radio show, Courts & Sports, on WOKV. Please like or follow us. No attorney-client relationship is established and responses here are general first impressions. You should consult with a lawyer about your problems. More about our firm is located at www.knowthelawyer.com.
Regarding a self-defense claim, your buddy would have to show that his actions were both reasonable and necessary under the circurmstances to defense himself. Unfortunately for him, verbal statements usually don't suffice.
It's also noteworthy that second degree battery is a specific intent crime, meaning that the State would be required to show that your buddy consciously desired to seriously injure the other subject. This can be problematic for the State in such "bar room brawl" circumstances.
Nonethelss, even if he's conviction, he's probably not looking at jail time if this is his first offense. The sentencing range is 0-5 years but it's probatable. The real problem with a second degree battery conviction is its a felony crime of violence that cannot be expunged.
Most of my second degree battery cases have usually pled out to a misdeamor (i.e.- simple battery), with an agreement that my client will pay full restitution to the purported victim.
Years licensed, work experience, educationLegal community recognition
Peer endorsements, associations, awardsLegal thought leadership
Publications, speaking engagementsDiscipline