“Hello – I am in dire need of an answer regarding my son. He was drinking (age 19) with another person (age 26) who furnished the alcohol. At some point in the night, the other person became irate, aggitated, etc and my son feared for his life. He, unfortunately, grabbed a baseball bat and hit the other person twice breaking his arm. My son was arrested for aggravated assault and has a 10K bond and looking at 6 months to 20 years for this. The other person has quite a prior history including but not limited to DUIs, public drunk, etc….. We have filed charges against the other person for contributing to a minor. Where does the “Castle Doctrine” come into place here? My son was scared for his life and felt the need to protect himself but is being charged as a criminal.
Any help you could provide would be greatly appreciated”
A person can use the force necessary to protect themself. This is juxtaposed against a duty to retreat if possible. Usually, you can use the amount of force you are faced with to protect yourself. Your son hit the guy with a baseball bat. Was that force reasonable or justified under the circumstances? Maybe or maybe not – and a judge or jury will decide that. He is being charged as a criminal because reasonable suspicion exists that all the elements of a crime have occurred. Your son may have a defense to aggravated assault, or there may be mitigating circumstances, but this will not prevent the state’s attorney from going forward with the prosecution.