Grown folks should never fight unless they are getting paid for it. That's
my view. And as a martial artist, you'd think I would love a good
knock-down, drag-out brawl. But the truth is, if I'm not sparring
at my dojo, I want nothing to do with physical confrontation. The consequences
are just too great.
However, there are always bozos out there who can't take no for an
answer. There's always alcohol and large, encouraging crowds that
provoke otherwise reasonable people to do dumb things.
And sometimes a fight is unavoidable.
is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 364 days in county jail. It is a
crime that occurs when one person touches or strikes another without the
consent of the victim.
However, when two people are engaged in a fight, it is said to be "mutual
combat." That is, each participant has given their consent to their
opponent to be hit. When two people square off, or in some fashion (spoken
or unspoken) agree to fight, the law understands that each party has permitted
the other to strike them, therefore nullifying the "without consent"
element of battery. In other words, mutual combatants cannot be charged
However, crimes such as disorderly intoxication and disorderly conduct
may be charged if both participants are arrested.
Don't confuse a mutual combatant defense with self-defense.
Florida's Stand Your Ground Law
permits you to meet non-lethal force with non-lethal force if attacked
or placed in reasonable fear of attack. Self-defense differs from mutual
combatant in that one party does not want to fight yet the other attacks.
Fights happen. A mutual combatant defense doesn't necessarily rely
on "who threw the first punch." It is possible for two people
to be face-to-face in an aggressive manner, challenging each other with
words and gestures, and one person decides to act. The person who threw
the first punch would still have a mutual combatant defense based on the
totality of the circumstances. The opponent's conduct and challenging
words may have satisfied the legal definition of consent.
If you or someone you know are charged with battery,
to schedule a free consultation.
criminal defense in Miami-Dade County and Broward County. I am a
former Miami-Dade prosecutor
who has handled hundreds (if not thousands) of battery cases. I have prosecuted
and defended misdemeanor battery,
, and aggravated battery cases.