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3 qualifications for self-defense

On Behalf of | Sep 28, 2022 | Criminal Defense

Self-defense cases can get very complicated. In some situations, self-defense may be very serious and someone may even have to defend themselves by taking another person‘s life. This is legal in certain circumstances, but determining if it is legal can be difficult.

What this complexity means is that there are people who believe they’re acting in self-defense, but then they get charged with a crime themselves. They feel like they are the victim and it doesn’t seem fair. At a time like this, the thing to consider is that there are 3 different qualifications for a self-defense claim.

Eminent danger or death

First of all, the person must have a reasonable belief that they could be seriously injured or killed in the immediate future. They can’t use self-defense unless they honestly believe that they are in danger. It is not just an excuse to be used later, but a reflection of how they really felt in that moment – as they feared for their life.

Lack of provocation

Additionally, to use self-defense, the person has to show that they didn’t provoke the other person or act aggressively toward them. You’re not allowed to provoke someone until they attack you and then fight back, claiming that you were just using self-defense. But if you did nothing to cause the attack or even tried to avoid it and it still happened, then you can defend yourself.

Reasonable force

Finally, the person who is defending themselves can only use reasonable force. This means an amount of force that is relatively similar to that being used against them, which is “demanded by the situation.” They cannot use more force than this.

For example, someone who gets pushed over and then pulls out a gun and uses it to shoot the other individual may be told that it was not actually self-defense because their response was disproportionate to the actual threat that they faced. In the face of a home invasion against armed individuals, though, using a firearm may be entirely permissible.

What are your defense options?

If you find yourself in a situation like this, you know just how important it is to get the results that you deserve. Make sure you know what defense options you have and how you can fight for your rights at every turn.