Can I be charged with assault?
Question Details: A friend and I were at a wedding both drinking. On the way home I was punched 6/7 times then when vehicle stopped taken to the ground I then punched her back in self defense which resulted in a bloody nose. She got up and tried to continue to attack me. Will I be charged with assault?
You could be charged if the authorities believe either or both of:
1) You hit her after she had hitting you and posed no more threat--you can't retaliate for being hit, but can only use force to defend yourself and stop an attack, which means that if the attack has stopped before you use force, that is not self defense; and/or
2) It was fighting by "mutual consent": basically, if two people "agree" to fight or both engage in conduct leading to the fight, then regardless of who punched first and who second, both are considered to have committed assault--you cannot instigate a fight and then claim self defense when the fight you helped cause occurs.