I was hit by a car on private property by trespasser and retaliated by throwing a bottle and cracking the windshield. Am I at fault in this case?I was charged with destruction of private property!

Expert Answers
urthona eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Your actions probably do fall within your state’s destruction of private property statute. It seems more likely than not that a jury (or judge) will find your “retaliation” (rarely an advantageous descriptor) unreasonable and excessive under the circumstances. (The driver's actions, which motivated you to throw the bottle, may be a mitigating factor that will lower the fine or other sentence imposed.) Given the facts that you’ve presented, you can seek legal recourse against the driver for trespassing and for assault and battery.

You should seek legal advice from a qualified legal counsel. An attorney may be able to get the charges reduced or dropped. (Perhaps a settlement with the driver can be negotiated: he or she agrees not to pursue the charges against you in exchange for you paying to replace the windshield and not filing a civil suit for trespassing and assault).

Disclaimer: This post contains general legal information and should not be construed as legal advice to be applied to any specific factual situation. Each reader should consult a lawyer if you want a qualified professional’s assurance that this information, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate to your particular situation.