Q: If a person acts in self defense but gets arrested can anything happen to the person who started it?
Is the initial aggressor in a fight solely responsible?
Not always. Did you have an opportunity to retreat? Did you escalate the fight or continue when it could have been ended? In Florida, we have the stand your ground rule, a no duty to retreat law, but that will not always help. Who is the aggressor is a fact question. Sometimes those facts do not get sorted out until a jury decides.
Is a person acting in self-defense also subject to arrest?
Fighting is actually against the law. It is called "affray" and if it appears that persons are fighting by choice, it is a minor crime. Assuming you were voluntarily fighting and the other person "started it" you might not be charged, or if charged, you might get the charges dropped, or win an acquittal. The end result depends on what evidence the prosecution is depending on. Is this evidence sometimes undependable? That's a big yes. Does anybody care? Your lawyer is about the only one besides you who will care.
Go see a local lawyer in person. Take your paperwork from the arrest. Be prepared to pay the lawyer. It could be the best money you ever spent. Many employers do not hire people who have fighting or violence on their record. A lawyer might be able to keep your record clean, depending on your history of arrests. Good luck.
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.