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Randathamane
06-15-2005, 07:52 AM
This is one area i am uncertain about.....

How does the law approach those who study martial arts. There have been many cases of burglars successfully suing and filing suit against their victims.
Does the same apply to the knife man who is defeated in th street?

If one is attacked by a knife man and you have to defend yourself, where does the law stand? Am i guilty of assault for defending myself?

Before you answer consider an article i found in a magazine...
The article was from a crime prevention officer who suggested that we should "place bushes beneath your windows to hamper entry into your property" another person remarked what a good idea it was and asked the officer where to find some thorn bushes or rose bushes (something prickly)
".... No- you can't do that" said the crime prevention officer "the burglar may hurt themselves".
says allot about the law if you ask me.....


:ai: :ki: :do:

Yann Golanski
06-15-2005, 08:10 AM
The following only applies in the United Kingdom.

You can use "reasonable force" to defend yourself or/and others against an attack. Sadly, there is no definition of "reasonable force" as it is left to the discretion of the judge and/or jury. If you defend yourself in an attack, your attacker can sue you for GBH -- grievously bodily harm which is a criminal offense. You will have to defend yourself in front of a judge (hint: get a lawyer whatever it costs!!!) who will decide if you have used "reasonable force" or not.

Even better, if you go to a part of town you know is reputed for its fights and get attacked, your martial art training will count against you. After all, you trained to harm (kick, punch, whatever) others then went into a situation where you would have to use those skills.

If you put or plant into your garden anything with the propose of harming anyone then you can (and will be) sued for GBH. It shows that you purposefully wanted to cause harm. The fact that the other person was breaking the law is irrelevant. This law also forbids you to build traps of any kind on your private land. If on the other hand, you have a genuine love of roses and a nice garden, you can get away with it. It all depends on intent.

However, you are welcome to video record anything that happens on your property or around you. This can be used as evidence to help you get out of jail. Mobile phones with video and sound recording are getting more common. A youth gang got a out of jail card when the police officer threatened them and was caught on tape. The fact that the gang was causing trouble was irrelevant since the Police officer abused his position.

If you want more information, please contact your local Police station, the Home Office or/and a lawyer from the Citizen Advise Bureau.

Some URLs:
http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/crime/index.html
http://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/macnn6/
http://www.citizensadvice.co.uk/

Randathamane
06-15-2005, 08:25 AM
Great thanks....
was just unsure about the whole thing- seems unfair that the victim can be charged whilst the guilty party are compensated for their actions. apparently the official response from the police is....

"if you happen to be in a mugging situation or you are being threatened- with or without weapons, give them what they want and call the police."
In an attempt to reduce crime of course...... Right :confused:

Have relied on the law to come to the rescue twice- and both times they let me down, once we were even being hunted by a gang of yobs only to hear the 999 operator (or whoever answerers the 999 police line) say-

"call the police when it is over and they will come down with a medical kit, take some statements and check the CCTV on the streets- give them what they want and they will leave you alone"

The wanted to hurt us. It seemed that the fact that we could die was irrelevant. Sorry to all the police out there, but i think i will trust my own resources to keep me and others from harm.


:ai: :ki: :do:

Yann Golanski
06-15-2005, 09:12 AM
If that is what you heard, then you have a case to go to the Police watch dog of your city. All 999 calls are recorded and therefore they will be able to get to your call and use that as evidance. You could sue the local Police force, not to get money out of them but to make sure they understand that these things are not done. I would certainly report it.

To be honest, I am shocked to hear that story. I've only had high level of support and professonalism from the UK Police.

As for trusting your own resources be __VERY__ careful of what you do and what those resources are. If you carry a knife, then you are a criminal and the Police will come on you like a ton of brick.
The UK never had a Wyatt Earp and Doc Holiday that were hero for taking the law into their own hands. The closest they had was Robin Hood and look at what happened to him!

mj
06-15-2005, 09:14 AM
Don't tell the police that you do Martial Arts if you are questioned/arrested for anything.

If you are found out just say 'oh I only do Aikido - everyone knows it is no good anyway'. :D

Yann Golanski
06-15-2005, 09:17 AM
What the hell... here are some more links you maybe interested in:
http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/docs3/the_word.html
http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/crime/preventionadvice/index.html
http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/docs2/hs_safesecure6.html
http://www.crimereduction.gov.uk/faq1.htm

happysod
06-15-2005, 09:30 AM
Don't tell the police that you do Martial Arts if you are questioned/arrested for anything. I'd actually go further here. If you've been in something which could be considered serious, don't tell them anything beyond your name and address until you have seen your lawyer.

Don't lie, just be vague and relatively uncommunicative outside of anything truly useful (like which way they went after ...). Do not assume that you are in the right, that Mr Friendly policeman is on your side and most importantly never say anything resembling "it's my fault" or "I'm going to kill 'em".

It's the job of the courts to determine right/wrong in anything serious, but you can definitely jeopardize yourself by some ill-chosen words said in the immediate aftermath.

Ron Tisdale
06-15-2005, 11:05 AM
And don't forget that statements made in a public, online forum may come back to haunt you....

Ron

Adam Alexander
06-15-2005, 01:56 PM
And don't forget that statements made in a public, online forum may come back to haunt you....

Ron

LOL. That was a great one!

I read, I think in BB magazine, if you have to call 911 because you've hurt someone, the only things you should say is something along the lines of "he was going to kill me. I was so scared."

Fear the government. It's only in the powerholders interest for you to be powerless.

deepsoup
06-16-2005, 08:34 AM
How does the law approach those who study martial arts. There have been many cases of burglars successfully suing and filing suit against their victims.
No there haven't.
There's been a fair bit of fuss in the press about it. So much so that a lot of people think there have been "many cases", but they're wrong, such cases are extremely rare.

Sean
x

Ed Stansfield
06-16-2005, 09:23 AM
No there haven't.
There's been a fair bit of fuss in the press about it. So much so that a lot of people think there have been "many cases", but they're wrong, such cases are extremely rare.


You beat me to it . . . what Sean said.


You can use "reasonable force" to defend yourself or/and others against an attack. Sadly, there is no definition of "reasonable force" as it is left to the discretion of the judge and/or jury.

Without wanting to sound pedantic . . . well allright then, accepting that this will sound pedantic . . . it isn't "sad" that there's no definition of what's reasonable, it's just inevitable. What's reasonable depends on the situation. If someone is genuinely trying to kill you, and in order to defend yourself you kill them, then it is reasonable for you to claim self defence. If someone shakes their fist at you and you respond by shooting them, that isn't likely to be considered reasonable. In between those two . . .

If you defend yourself in an attack, your attacker can sue you for GBH -- grievously bodily harm which is a criminal offense. You will have to defend yourself in front of a judge (hint: get a lawyer whatever it costs!!!) who will decide if you have used "reasonable force" or not.

Again, pedantic blah etc but, the attacker can't sue for GBH. He or she can make a complaint to the police and they (or more accurately the Crown Prosecution Service) decide whether to prosecute. It isn't the attacker's decision as to whether you were prosecuted and in a genuine situation of self defence I'd suggest that it's far from inevitable that proceedings would be brought. Theoretically, someone could bring a private claim against you for battery but I feel confident in saying (unless one or both of the people involved are very rich) that this is very rare.


As a few other people have already said, if the police are interviewing you as a suspect, you should have a solicitor present.


I'm happy to admit that the law is sometimes an ass; I just think that there's a lot urban myth that gets reported as "IT'S THE LAW".


Back to work . . .

Ed

jonreading
06-16-2005, 12:11 PM
The US has lots of urban legends about martial artists getting the short end of the stick in physical confrontations. In general, you don't get into trouble if you are being threatened with bodily harm.

guest89893
06-16-2005, 12:29 PM
And don't forget that statements made in a public, online forum may come back to haunt you....

Ron

It is something that is used in court in criminal cases, regarding the posted conversation on websites and emails. We have a case going on here in Tampa regarding Two guys who are charged with homicide, & rape of male victims. One of the accused I believe is/ was in PHilly and through posts & emails tracked and faces charges. Or something like that - I mostly listen to the weather segment to see when the next hurricane is coming. ;)

Gene

Ron Tisdale
06-16-2005, 12:39 PM
Philly? No kidding! wow...yeach! Hope they put 'em under the jail.

On the next hurricane, you guys must be still in shock from last year. I hope this one goes better. Think of it this way...at least you don't get false tsunami warnings!

Best,
Ron

Adam Alexander
06-16-2005, 02:49 PM
The US has lots of urban legends about martial artists getting the short end of the stick in physical confrontations. In general, you don't get into trouble if you are being threatened with bodily harm.


I don't think it's "urban legend."

Not so many years back, I had to read about twenty court cases. Most had very similar circumstances--some appeared to have identical circumstances. Regardless of the similarity in circumstances, there was no consistency to the rulings.

Things I've learned: There's no consistent justice and laws do not make sense.

I believe your conclusions on the subject are rationalizations--that's generally how people deal with law that doesn't make sense--they search for some sort of reasoning...even when things just don't make sense.

Rupert Atkinson
06-16-2005, 09:42 PM
Which all goes to show why Aikido offers more value - you get out of trouble free by avoiding it - especially useful in the UK system where the law often suspects the 'victim.'

But also, think about it from the police's point of view, especially man on man. Two men fight, one or both is injured - it is not easy for someone who arrives later (the cop) to even determine who started it and is probably quite natural to judge initial guilt by how much damage one party has. If one guy is smashed up badly, the other is going to get arrested whether he started it or not.

The UK law can be a real ass. To be honest, I quite like that new Florida law that more or less says the victim does not have to also defend himself in court - even if he kills the attacker. When society gets violent, that's the kind of law that is needed. If society is not violent, such is not necessary.

I also heard (from and ex-police friend - UK) that in most cases, the attacker who gets his just deserts from his victim just accepts it. There are only a few cases where attackers claim against their victim. I remember being told one story about a guy, caught red-handed, who cut his hands badly scrambling away over a brick wall that had glass cemented in along the top. The police shouted for him to stop, but he didn't. His case was thrown out, in fact, not even considered, because he had climbed in over that same wall and therefore must have known about the glass, not to mention the fact they shouted "Stop!" and he ignored them. At least, that's what they told the guy and he pursued it not further. Common sense can prevail - the police are not totally stupid.

Adam Alexander
06-17-2005, 06:47 PM
But also, think about it from the police's point of view, especially man on man. Two men fight, one or both is injured - it is not easy for someone who arrives later (the cop) to even determine who started it and is probably quite natural to judge initial guilt by how much damage one party has. If one guy is smashed up badly, the other is going to get arrested whether he started it or not.

Yup. That's why I think the police should be relieved of most of their power--if not all.

I don't like the idea of my life being held in the balance which is held in the hand of a guy with, maybe an associates degree

Michael Hackett
06-17-2005, 07:10 PM
Wow! Detroit must be as rough as Kid Rock suggests. We tried the Vigilence Committee model out here in California a few years ago (well, it was in the 1850s). I guess it worked OK, not counting the occasional error.

Nick Simpson
06-19-2005, 10:17 AM
A friend of a friend was jumped by two guys a few years ago. He put one downwith a punch and still had one guy to deal with. So he kicked the other guy on the floor to make sure he would not get up and get him while he took on his accomplice. He successfully defended himself but it went to court and he went to jail for it. Witness statements noted the kick to the attacker on the ground and this made him appear as the attacker.

Now I dont know if he was in a position to flee after knocking the first guy down, maybe he could have, maybe he couldnt have. But I feel that what he did was justified and a logical move to make in terms of self defence. Perphaps it wasnt the smartest thing to do with witness's around, but he was hardly in a position to choose his stratedgy with time and thought.

He's a nice guy, not a thug, just someone who can handle himself and doesnt take any crap. He's actually a very comitted christian, although perhaps at this point in his life he wasnt too into the turning of the other cheek. But lets not talk about religion :)

I think this was a failing in the justice system...

justinc
06-19-2005, 10:51 AM
IANAL but my dad was for many years in the western suburbs of Sydney. He dealt a lot with violent situations, particularly as a public defender in kids court. I got plenty of lectures at home about it. At least in Oz, the legal definition of "reasonable force" is that you may respond with anything up to an equivalent level of violence to what you are being attacked with. So, if someone comes at you with a golf club, then empty hand and stick is OK, but a knife or gun is not. If they use a firearm, then it's basically anything goes at that point. He never spoke of martial arts training and how that fitted into the system, but I could see that Aikido techniques could easily be passed off at any level of defence.. Using a striking art may be a little harder to argue for unless someone was using a knife or firearm.

Nick Simpson
06-19-2005, 11:36 AM
If you talk about love and harmony and that your intent was to restrain the person until backup arrived then yeah, youd probably be fine. If you ripped the guys arm out with shihonage then its possibly going to be a bit harder to explain...

deepsoup
06-19-2005, 01:14 PM
A friend of a friend ...
Unfortunate phrase (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urban_legend) to start a story with.

Nick Simpson
06-19-2005, 04:46 PM
Why so?

Michael Hackett
06-19-2005, 05:23 PM
Here in California, and most Western states, you may use "reasonable" force to protect yourself. Reasonable force is defined (quite poorly in my opinion) is the force believed necessary by a reasonable person in the same circumstances. While we train police agents in the Use of Force Continuum, there is no requirement to meet force upon force as described in Australia above. You are lawfully allowed to use an escalation of force if reasonably necessary in your mind. As a general statement, either a civilian or law enforcement officer could legally choose to shoot an aggressor who attacked with a club for example. Once the danger is resolved, you may not use any further force. If your attacker is subdued, it would be clearly unlawful to strike or kick him again.

Obviously you will be second-guessed by the responding police. There is no requirement for you to tell the police anything, but you can bet that you will be detained at that point. If you choose to tell your side of the story at that point, there is no requirement that you describe your actions in martial arts terms. Telling the investigating officer that you applied a koshinage to your assailant will raise red flags....you could always tell him quite honestly that when the assailant punched at your face, you grabbed his arm and threw him down.

I suppose a good analogy would be drinking water while exercising. If you fail to drink enough water, you risk dying from dehydration. If you drink too much, you risk dying of hyponatremia. If you drink just the right amount for the circumstances, you will maintain your health.

Some of the earlier advice was right on the money. Check with your local jurisdiction to see what the law actually says. Unfortunately you can't rely on what a reporter wrote and you can't rely on word of mouth accounts of how the law was applied in a given circumstance. There are just too many variables and actually reading the law that applies to your area should give you a firm grasp of what your rights and responsibilities truly are.

guest89893
06-19-2005, 07:37 PM
The UK law can be a real ass. To be honest, I quite like that new Florida law that more or less says the victim does not have to also defend himself in court - even if he kills the attacker. When society gets violent, that's the kind of law that is needed. If society is not violent, such is not necessary.
.

Yes, in one way it does offer some sense in that if attacked I do not have to make an escape as the choice (still real high on my list though). The problems lie in of course the obtuseness (is that even a word) in the law. If man #1attacks with a club or a knife at man#2, and man#2's response is pulling out a firearm an shooting at man#1- misses an the shot hits my wife or son. Now the law gets real messy, and I'm not writing down how I'd response! Or the other scenario two fools yelling at each other over a football team. One takes a swing the other grabs a beer bottle which causes the first guy to take out a gun or a knife ... you get the picture - does this same law apply?

Ron wrote:
On the next hurricane, you guys must be still in shock from last year. I hope this one goes better. Think of it this way...at least you don't get false tsunami warnings!

Last year was really weird! It was quite scary and now the government has reevaluated the flooding/hurricane evacuation zones. Man, now you tell me after the fact... Timely that. :rolleyes:
Oh well. Life is life, neh?
Gene

Rupert Atkinson
06-19-2005, 08:03 PM
Or the other scenario two fools yelling at each other over a football team. One takes a swing the other grabs a beer bottle which causes the first guy to take out a gun or a knife ... you get the picture - does this same law apply?


Well, as far as I can tell, in Florida you could blast him away, but you'd have to prove the other guy started it. Neither is really a victim - they both started it. Law is often messy, but needs to be tilted towards the true victim in terms of self-defence.

Michael Hackett
06-19-2005, 11:16 PM
In Gene's first scenario, if Man #2 shoots to defend himself from a club or knife attack and hits an uninvolved person, he would probably face a charge of involuntary manslaughter (if the person died, obviously) here in California. Involuntary manslaughter is defined as a lawful act, done in a lawful manner that results in the death of another. Involuntary manslaughter is different from a justifiable homicide in that the victim was uninvolved in the events. If Man #2 kills Man #1, it would probably be ruled a justifiable homicide here under the doctrine of self-defense.

In the second scenario, as I understood it, Man #1 takes the first swing, Man #2 defends himself with a bottle, and Man #1 ups the ante and uses a gun or knife. Man #1 would probably be arrested and charged with any number of crimes. There is no particular law that speaks to the use of a knife to defend yourself, but knives have a terrible connotation with the public. Public opinion would really weigh against the individual using a knife to defend himself in most circumstances and prosecutors are sometimes, perhaps frequently, swayed by public opinion.

Trade you three earthquakes for a hurricane......