It’s a common scenario. A woman is at the bar, minding her business, and a man approaches her. He’s drunk and pushy, getting in her space, breathing all over her, and making rude comments. Suddenly, she reacts in violence, slapping him.
At first glance, it appears that this man has the right to accuse the woman of assault or even battery. However, the slap could have been an act of self-defense, which is legally allowed.
Here are some qualifications for justifiable self-defense and how they could apply to slapping a jerk at the bar.
A Belief That You Are in Danger
By law, if you believe that you are in immediate danger, you can react with violence. Belief alone is the only requirement.
You may discover later that you had misinterpreted the event, but that should not hinder your case. Imagine you are in a dark alley, and someone is running toward you, waving a knife, and screaming, “I’m going to kill you!” Perhaps this person intended to attack someone behind you, but you didn’t know that another person was there. It doesn’t matter. In that situation, you have a reasonable belief that you are in danger, and you can strike back violently.
Let’s apply this logic to the creep at the bar. He is much bigger than the woman, and he is looming down on her. His words are not only lewd, but they are also somewhat threatening. Eventually, he gets so close to her, that she feels threatened, and no one around seems to notice or intervene. Out of desperation, she slaps the man and quickly exits the bar.
In a situation like this, the woman has a clear, strong case for self-defense.
Your Response Is Proportionate
There is a line between defending yourself and beating someone senseless. It may be justifiable to punch someone in self-defense. However, if you continue to pound on them and kick them while they are down, the court will find it harder to believe your self-defense plea.
A good self-defense plea shows that the violent act is equal to the attack. The threat being of punched may demand that you throw a punch. A fatal response could be appropriate if you believe you could be killed or seriously injured.
Consider, then, the average woman slapping the average man. Neither is a bodybuilder or an athlete. Even so, we generally assume that most men are physically stronger than most women. A slap is not likely to produce serious injury. In most cases, it won’t even break skin.
Therefore, a slap could be considered self-defense in many cases.
Other Self-Defense Qualifications
There are a couple of other helpful claims in a self-defense case.
- The danger is immediate. When considering a woman alone at the bar, it’s easy to assume that she could be in imminent danger from a pervert.
- Without defending yourself, you could be seriously hurt. It’s uncomfortable to even consider what a creepy guy could do if left unchecked.
If you’ve been accused of assault or battery, but you were only defending yourself, our firm is here to help. For a free consultation, contact Samra Dhillon & Associates today by calling us at (916) 571-1550 or filling out our online contact form.