Charged With a Crime? What to Know About Self-Defense

The law allows people to defend themselves when they have been attacked. However, using self-defense as an excuse when facing criminal charges is another matter. To find out more about this defense tactic, read on.

Defending Yourself From Criminal Charges

Many people never think about what they would do in a dangerous situation until the time comes and they must take action. Unfortunately, those who take action might find out that they now have to defend themselves a second time. The law will take a hard look at self-defense matters when they arise and things may not turn out the way you expect. Being traumatized by an attack can be terrible, but being convicted of assault or worse can have an enormous impact on you for many years to come. Some people are released once law enforcement determines they only used self-defense, but not always. If you are facing violent incident charges, you need help to defend yourself from being convicted. Your first move should be to speak to a criminal defense lawyer about your case.

Defense Tactics and Your Case

It's helpful to know a bit about how your criminal defense lawyer will work on your behalf. Three main issues are up for consideration with a self-defense alibi.

  1. Appropriate Force – When it comes to defending yourself, you should never bring a gun to a shoving match. In other words, using the lowest possible amount of force to protect yourself is key. The threat has to match your response. The law will not only look at the weapons used, but things like the size and physical strength as per each party.
  2. Imminent Danger – When you or someone else is in danger, you can take protective actions. However, you must be able to show that you felt certain of an immediate threat. You cannot take action after the fact or before the fact, it has to be in a timely fashion. This usually constitutes emergency situations where acting quickly is the only remedy available.
  3. They Started It – The final consideration is that you must not be the person who initiated the altercation. The law will evaluate your part in the way an interaction deteriorated that caused someone to get hurt. For instance, if you wave a gun at a group of people in a public space, you cannot then claim self-defense when a brawl ensues.

Cases of self-defense are almost never simple. Speak to a defense lawyer to find out more about defending yourself against unjust charges after a self-defense incident.