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Can you go to jail for punching someone in the face?
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Can you go to jail for punching someone in the face?

Say you saw this guy choking and trying to mug this girl on the streets. You step in front behind and help her by beating the mugger senseless in the face until he falls down.

Can the mugger sue you for assaulting him? Will you be sent to jail for attacking him?


Beep B
THE PROSECUTOR WOULD NOT PUT YOU ON CRIMINAL TRIAL FOR ASSISTING TO PROTECT SOMEONE...The rapist however can sue you in CIVIL court for money..Do not get CIVIL/CRIMINAL courts confused

He shouldn't be able to sue you, but it's not unheard of. It shouldn't matter either way though, help the girl regardless.

Regardless of what these other idiots say, you would be in no way, whatsoever, criminally liable. You could step in and shoot the guy, stab him, or punch him in the face. You could whack him with a lead pipe from behind. If he dies as a result, you'd be free to go.

Like one other commentor wrote, as long as you stop when the threat stops, you cannot be charged or sued. If he is unconcious, and you contiunue to beat him, that is a crime, for instance.

When there are two parties to an assault (victim and perpetraitor), a third party can intervene on behalf of the victim and is afforded the same protections under the law as the victim himself (or herself). If she couldn't be charged or sued, then neither can you. It falls under the Good Samaritan laws.

Artie B
In this stupid world we live in, you very possibly could. And that mugger could sue you....and WIN! So it's damned if you do and damned if you don't.

Phil Osophy
From an objective stance "no", however, the nation in which we live does not conduct judiciary actions objectively. This is why the case could go either way depending on different factors: your lawyer, his lawyer, the judge, the overall consensus on whether you beat the mugger in access, and whether what you did could be classified as self defense.

I have seen similar instances with extremely unethical outcomes. I knew someone at my high school last year, age 18, who was instigated by another kid, age 17, the 17 year old hit the 18 year old several times before the 18 year old restricted the 17 year old from moving. The 17 year old was still able to land punches in the abdomen of the 18 year, so the 18 year old punched him twice in the face. Neither of them had any prior offenses, however, the 18 year old went to jail where he was booked and charged with assault, whereas, the 17 year old went to Juvenile hall where he recieved a warning and was released the next day. How does that make sense.

I know I expanded way beyond the question, however, my point was trying to prove that society as a whole must re-evaluate all of our enforced laws based on what is truly moral. If we do not many transgressions will be made against individuals doing the right thing.

You can fight this one I think. Well, you're trying to protect someone and if there are witnesses, you are more likely to win.

Yes, he can sue you but I don't think he will win. And yes, you can be sent to jail if everything works against you.

I'm not an attorney but I would say yes and no to both your questions. Not being an attorney I would advise you to seek legal advice from one. Do not speak to anyone without an attorney present. You did a noble thing. You may not go to jail but he may sue you and win or vice-versa. I think you'll have the community on your side anyhow. Most citizens, cops, prosecutors, and judges would do their best to help you in a situation like this but that doesn't mean the perpetrator may not get his own lawyer and take legal action by suing or pressing charges. Stranger things have happened like one time a burglar sued the home owner for stabbing him or something like that and won. Get an attorney! There is always citizen's arrest. Bring that up to a lawyer.

Brittney Leigh
most likely no. if he was a random person and you just punched him, then yes. but since you are helping a citizen, and you arent using deadly force you are generally fine. selfdefense by the law is using equal force, so as long as you dont kill him, you should be fine. he can sue you, anyone can sue anyone for anything, but since hes commiting a crime he probably isnt going to make it. there are some states where its actually against the law to NOT do anything.

he can file for assualt but then again you have witness that saysyou were protecting her so i think it wouldn't work.

youll be sued for not helping the girl

Kenneth C
You are only allowed to use enough force to stop the threat. Now if the threat has ceased and you continue turning the guys face into hamburger meat, you could be held liable for assault 3rd degree at the very minimum. However, if he keeps doing what he is doing, then you do what you have to do. However, if the police rolls up and the lady is a witness and says you were defending her from getting mugged, I am pretty sure nothing will happen to you.

If he was assualting the women, you might have a chance not to get charged.....

But you have to use justified force.. You cant knock him out and keep hitting him...

The judge decides on if the force you used in this case punching him in the fast was right.

keeep it justifiable

im a guy_17 Tokio Hotel Rulez
no he cant

He can try to sue
As long as the police report reads how you stated the event
no you wont go to jail for protecting a lady who is being mugged

however if you did go to jail then
you call the newspaper the radio staiton the tv stations etc
and tell your story my freind youll be a hero

Snake eater
absolutely not. ever heard of a citizens arrest? well its real and what your talking about is essentally the same thing so if you run across a mugger... kick the **** out of him :)

What was the guy choking on? Was he eating a hamburger or something while he tried to mug her?

You probably won't be charged with assault if it is clear that you were trying to stop someone from being assaulted. However, there is a line between beating someone unconscious and stopping them until police arrive.

Being sued and being charged with assault are two different issues.

Try just restraining someone rather than beating them to a pulp.

One dollar and NINE CENTS!!!!!
No, it was technically considered self defense.

The girl will testify in your defense so you will be fine but you may spend a few hours in jail but most likely not

john c
it's a gray area...you might be arrested but probably not convicted. You can be sued but i doubt he would win.

Hmmm I don't think you can be sued for it, because if the person you see is in real danger like in the description "choking" then yes its called self defense or in this case self defense to others so more than likely you'll get off scott free.

Jennifer H
Well in this sick sad world we live in, yes, he could press charges and go to jail.

charmaine g
Depends on your criminal record.

You'd be better off placing him under citizens arrest rather than aggravating him.

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