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If you have been arrested for Domestic Violence whether as a Felony or a Misdemeanor you should call our office immediately.  As discusssed in some of our earlier blogs.  There could be a many issues wich affect your case and your ability to mount a defense.  If you wait until charges are filed, or until you have court you could be making serious mistakes which could affect your ability to defend yourself in court. 

After reading this article give us a call if you have any questions 559-441-1418.


Mutual combat is a fight into which both parties enter willingly, or in which two persons, upon a sudden quarrel, in hot blood mutually fight upon equel terms.

There is a Jury instruction that deals with this issue.

A person who engages in mutual combat or who is the first one to use physical force has a right to self defense only if:

1. he or she actually in good faith ties to stop fighting


He/or she indicates by word or by conduct, to his or her opponnent, in a way that a reasonable person would understand, that he or she wants to stop fighting and that he or she wants to stop fighting and that he or she has stopped fighting.

and he or she gives there opponent a chance to stop fighting.

if a person meets these requirements, he or she then has a right to self defense if the opponent continues to fight.

This defense is obviously problematic and difficult.  Officers are trained to arrest the “primary aggressor” in domestic violence calls.  In fact this is codified in Penal Code section 1370 (B) discourages the dual arrest of both parties and seeks to arrest the primary aggressor. This will be intermingled with the Mutual combat scenerior and make

this defense more difficult but not impossible.

it is difficult to sort out who is the primary aggressor in many of these situations.  So many times the officers and even prosecutors call a case “mutual combat” this can be to your advantage if both parties have injuries and it is difficult to determine the first or the primary aggressor.  


Mutual combat is the situation where you have two evenly matched individuals agreeing to a fight much like in the old westerns. The gunfighters agree to go to the center of main street at high noon to shoot it out. 

Most domestic violence situations don’t include both parties agreeing to a fight. It is more of a spur of the moment argument full of passion rather than a reasoned fight.

If you have any questions do not hesitate to call.




Gerald Schwab, Jr.


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Law Office of Gerald Schwab, Jr.
Fresno Criminal Defense Attorney
5588 N Palm Ave,
Fresno, CA 93704 View Map
Phone: 559.441.1418