Articles Tagged with self defense

If, while defending yourself, someone else, or property, you caused harm to another individual, it’s possible you could be charged with a crime like assault, battery, or even, in the most extreme situation, murder.  But you were only defending yourself, so how is this possible? Sometimes it takes a court of law to sort things out and come to an equitable and just conclusion. And when self-defense is a factor, having a good attorney to represent your interests is important.

Legal Requirements for Self-Defense

In California, there are three key elements that must be proven when self-defense is claimed:

  • You were in imminent danger of being harmed, touched illegally, or killed: This means that the danger was right in front of you, and you had to react to prevent it.
  • You had a reasonable belief that you needed to react with force in order to address the harm headed your way: Even if you  were mistaken in your perception of danger, if you had reason to believe you were in a precarious situation, your violent response may be considered reasonable by a jury.
  • You used just enough force to eliminate the threat: If your use of force was not proportionate to the threat, it is not a viable defense, meaning if someone slaps you and you beat them to death, you have probably exceeded the force necessary to protect yourself.

Stand Your Ground

Under California law, you are not required to back down or try to run away when facing a threat. You have every right to protect yourself and others when necessary. When it comes to property, it is legally permitted to protect yours and others’ too.

Deadly Force

Deadly force is allowable if that’s what it takes to provide a proper defense. Additionally, as per the Castle Doctrine, you are always allowed to use deadly force when protecting against a home invasion.  Even if you do not know the intent or the types of weapons an intruder may have, you are fully within your rights to use deadly force. That’s because when someone forcibly enters your home, it can be assumed they are up to no good, and it is reasonable to believe they will cause harm to you, your family, and/or your property. Continue reading

During the last Afghan civil war, the warlords that ruled their territory later became U.S. allies in our fight against the Taliban in Iraq. Now, an American Green Beret, Sgt. 1st Class Charles Martland, who refused to ignore the child molestations he witnessed overseas, is fighting for his career. Mr. Martland beat an Afghan militiaman who kidnapped a 12-year-old boy and chained him to his bed as a sex slave whilst stationed in Afghanistan. He was formally reprimanded for assaulting an Afghan police officer, and he is not the only one (Sgt. Dan Quinn was punished for freeing a child back in September). Soldiers who are sent overseas are often instructed to ignore the corruption and violence committed upon the local populace.

While this sad story occurred overseas, it is a stark reminder that Americans face criminal charges or legal consequences every day for defending themselves or others in need from danger.

Self Defense as a Legal Defense

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