When is Self-Defense Legally Justifiable?

Legal Adviser January 6, 2016
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Self-DefenseThere was a controversial trial regarding George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer who claimed he shot an unarmed teenager in self-defense. The controversy shook the local community and became a national issue.

It left people asking: when is self-defense legally justifiable?

The United States’ legal system allows a defendant to claim self-defense to prevent suffering force or violence by counteracting the threat.

Understanding when you can legally defend yourself is important, as the rules for self-defense vary from one state to another. The use of force is justified when a person believes that it is necessary, but he must not use more than necessary. Noll Law agrees that showing the defendant’s point of view may help make the defense stronger.

Rules for self-defense claim differ from state to state, but the same considerations apply.

Is it a Reaction to a Violent Threat?

Self-defense is only justified when used as a response to an immediate threat. Verbal threats that do not accompany physical harm, however, can’t be a reason for self-defense.

Even if the aggressor didn’t actually mean the victim harm, the perception of imminent danger can justify the use of force.

Is it a Proportional Response?

Self-defense must match the level of threat, meaning that you can only exert as much force to remove the threat. If it involves a deadly force, the victim can use the same to counteract the threat.

But, if minor force was counteracted with major harm or death, the self-defense claim will fail. The law also requires people claiming self-defense to first attempt to avoid violence before using force.

People need to protect themselvesDescription: Anchor because it is their right. They can do so under appropriate circumstances, even when it constitutes as a crime. More than the ability to protect yourself, however, it’s also good to be knowledgeable of the laws, as it can protect you from false accusations and unfair jail time.

Category: The Daily Bail
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