The answer to this question is situational. You can always use the fact that you feel as though you were provoked as a defense to assault in court, however, depending on the circumstances, you may have taken reasonable or unreasonable action when provoked by the other party. For example, if the other party involved in the altercation was yelling at you, this does not give you the right to stab him or her with a knife. If, on the other hand, a weapon is pulled on you, and you feel that your life is in serious danger, you can act in self defense in order to protect yourself. A judge or jury might feel that you were provoked and you acted reasonably under the circumstanced.