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Can someone consent to a fight?

| Jun 10, 2021 | Criminal defense | 0 comments

For some, a fascination with fighting may come from watching professional wrestling or TV shows that feature fighting. Others might have their first exposure to fighting as an unexpected participant and learn more about it.

Fighting is often associated with anger or hatred. Still, for some, fighting can be a sport that two parties willingly participate in.  Unfortunately, some fights end with injuries, bruised egos and criminal charges.

Here’s what you should know about recreational fighting.

Mutual combat in Illinois

In many states, including Illinois, people can choose to fight each other for sport as long as both parties consent to the fight. However, some fights can have unintended consequences and lead to someone’s death.

In rare cases, there can be a defense of “mutual combat” that could lead to a reduced charge. The challenge, however, is establishing evidence that there was consent and equal terms in the fight. Equal terms can include factors like whether there was a deadly weapon and the relative retaliation was proportional to the provoking factors.

When is fighting legal?

In the past, fighting was a more common form of recreation. More modernly, legal fighting tends to be limited to sports like boxing and mixed martial arts (MMA), where there are rules for establishing points and wins. These sports also tend to include some safety precautions.

Engaging in recreational fights can become complicated. At the time, your opponent may agree to a fight either for sport or under the influence of alcohol or other substances but may reflect differently on the situation once there are injuries.