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John Razumich

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Know the Law About Fighting: Is Mutual Combat Legal in Indiana?

You will find legal, sanctioned boxing matches, kickboxing tournaments, and mixed martial arts (MMA) bouts occurring year-round throughout Indiana. But is it legal for two average Joes to duke it out, so long as both parties consent to the fight?

Very few states condone mutual combat at the legislative level, and Indiana is not one of them.

Fighting Can Lead to Criminal Charges in Indiana, Even If Both Parties Consent

Mutual combatants in states like Washington and Texas can legally engage in physical combat without fear of legal repercussions. While there may be consequences if the fight disturbs the peace or involves deadly weapons, the laws are relatively straightforward (and permissive).

Indiana has no such law, which means you subject yourself to potential criminal penalties when you engage in mutual combat.

The Discretion of a Law Enforcement Officer May Determine Your Fate

A responding law enforcement officer has broad discretion when they encounter two combatants and may determine the following:

  • Whether to charge either party involved in the fight
  • Whether to charge one party as if they are the primary (or sole) aggressor
  • Which offense(s) to charge one or both combatants with

An officer could charge each party with a relatively minor offense, such as disturbing the peace. Or, an officer could see that one party lost the fight (perhaps badly) and choose to charge the other party with a serious offense, like battery.

Potential Defenses When You Face Fighting-Related Charges in Indiana

While you will be charged with something formal (like battery rather than “fighting”), you can face criminal charges because you chose to fight someone else. The details of your case will determine all potential defenses, but we may argue that:

  • Both parties agreed to the fight (this may be appropriate if you were charged as the sole aggressor)
  • You did not disturb the peace or commit another offense you have been accused of
  • You did not cause the degree of bodily harm you are accused of causing

Each fighting-related case is unique, so each legal defense must reflect the details of each fight and criminal charge.

Call Razumich & Associates When a Consensual Brawl Leads to Criminal Charges

Our attorneys will defend you from any criminal charges resulting from a consensual fight in Indiana. Authorities must handle your case in a fair, measured manner, and we will ensure that they do.

Call Razumich & Associates today at 317-449-8661 or contact us online for a consultation about hiring a criminal defense attorney in Indiana.

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