Q: Arguing, a drunken boyfriend hits his girlfriend then threatens to hit her again is it a crime to pepper spray him?
Both are on the lease of the home a couple are arguing until the girlfriend locks him out. He leaves returning back drunk, demands entrance, she opens door when he starts swinging as hes going to strike her and does on her face, but the two continue arguing. He then starts swinging to hit her again and she grabs pepper spray feeling threatened, warns him 4 times , if he continues she will spray him. He continues yelling and refusing to let him into the home where the kids are and have for hours been in the middle of the dispute, the girlfriend thinks best not to let him in and tries to shut the door when her boyfriend takes a swing at her once more, making her think she is going to be hit again, she reacts spraying him with pepper spray. He is stunned by the spray so she closes the door locking him out again. After he gains consciousness he shouts out hes calling police and breaks the window. Is it a crime where she can be charged or arrested because she sprayed him if polce had come?
A: This is an unfortunate situation that escalated further than both individuals would like. YES, both parties will likely be charged with Domestic Violence, Assault, Disorderly Conduct, and more. That being said, if she had to use pepper spray to defend herself then she will have a justified claim for self defense. The way it typically works in court is both parties will be charged with the crimes and then lawyers must advocate on your behalf to reduce or dismiss charges. If the police come to her to get her side of the story, it is strongly recommended that either she doesn't say anything or that she speaks with a lawyer to know what she can say to avoid making the situation worse. We handle these frequently so feel free to contact us or another lawyer for a free consultation. Zach@Divellaw.com or 480-935-6545
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