If someone hits you first, can they press charges?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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If someone hits you first, can they press charges?

I asked my niece to leave my house because she was disrespecting my

house by climbing through my window after I told her to leave. She wouldn’t leave and got in my face asking what’s good. I pushed her out my face, then she swung on me. Now shes talking about pressing charges.

Asked on February 18, 2017 under Criminal Law, Nevada


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

First, someone can of course lie and look to press charges based on the lie (i.e. by claiming that someone else hit them, but they did not hit that person). Having a police report filed or charges pressed does not mean you will be convicted, of course--there may be no credible or believable evidence to support conviction.
Second, bear in mind that if you "pushed her out [of] my face," you actually attacked her first: a push is an assault. (The law does not draw a distinction in that way between a push and a punch: both are striking another person.) Arguably therefore, you attacked her and she defended herself.

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