Think of the legal system as a barometer that measures reaction versus response. If it is determined that you injured another person while defending yourself, the court might regard that as a reasonable response. However, if you punch a guy in the face because he told you your team was no good, then the court will see that as lack of impulse control. And with that will come a misdemeanor to a felony charge.
Now, there is a gray area between response and reaction that may be hard to articulate. Maybe said guy who hates your team dumped a beer on your head after he told you they're no good. Now your brain is processing the information and probably saying, "punch him!"
So you do. The police come and arrest you for fighting. You're already facing charges. And again, depending on the damage done to the guy who hates your team, misdemeanor to felony. Worst case scenario, the guy dies from injuries and you could wind up facing second degree murder charges.
Best case scenario, the jury sides with you and believes you were provoked enough to merit such an action and all charges are dropped. Likely scenario, they agree you were provoked, the guy has a broken jaw and you're facing misdemeanor assault. You're hardly out of the woods. A misdemeanor charge on your record can be a detriment when trying to obtain housing, employment and citizenship. It can lead to deportation if you aren't a natural citizen.
So, what do you do? Well, if you've already punched the guy in the face and are facing charges, it's not too late. Our office can handle all scenarios outlined in the prior paragraphs. Don't let a reaction ruin your life.
Paul R. Moraski, Esq.
The Law Office of Paul R. Moraski
221 Essex Street, Suite 51
Salem, Massachusetts 01970