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State v. Hiott

    Brief Fact Summary. Appellant was convicted of battery for shooting his friend with a BB gun. Appellant argued that the friend consented to the game involving the BB gun and thus he was not guilty of assault.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law. The defense of consent cannot be put forth unless the game is a lawful athletic contest, competitive sport or other concerted activity not forbidden by law or public policy.

    Facts. Appellant was convicted of third-degree assault in juvenile court. The assault was alleged to have occurred while Appellant was playing with a BB gun with a friend. Appellant and Victim were taking turns shooting each other with the guns. Victim was hit in the eye and lost his eye as a result. Appellant argues that Victim consented to the crime and thus Appellant cannot be found guilty.

    Issue. Whether consent can be a defense to a criminal assault charge.

    Held. Consent is not available as a defense when the action involved shooting one with a BB gun.
    Consent can be a defense if the conduct of a defendant constituted foreseeable behavior in the play of a game and the injury was a byproduct of the game.

    Consent is only a defense if the game is a lawful athletic contest, competitive sport or other concerted activity not forbidden by law or against public policy.


    Discussion. The Court ruled that there are only specific instances where consent can be asserted by a defendant. However when the activity involves shooting one with a BB gun, this is not something that society condones or is a lawful sport or activity. Assaults in general are breaches of the public peace and thus cannot be defended against by alleging consent.


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