Most people are able to live a long life without having to take violent actions against another. When you feel threatened, you are supposed to have the right to defend yourself against violent acts. In some cases, you might be arrested because of these actions. To find out more, read on.
A Common Defense Tactic
If you are accused of a serious crime like assault, you must present a defense. Some people use an alibi as a defense, claiming that they were somewhere else when the crime occurred. Some claim self-defense but may be guilty of the crime. Unfortunately, the tendency to view self-defense as an easy defense tactic has made it more difficult for those who had no choice but to defend themselves. To show the court you are innocent, three factors must be present.
He Hit Me First
The way the incident unfolded will be of prime importance as the motivations and actions of the parties are examined in detail. Unless there is a video of the incident, which is increasingly common, your defense lawyer must rely on eye-witness testimony for help on who struck the first blow. Otherwise, the incident comes down to he-said-she-said. You don't have to touch someone to make them feel threatened, and that can work both ways. For example, if you were the first to take out a gun and aim it at someone, you are likely to be judged as the aggressor and not the victim.
You Felt You Had No Choice
If the act could have been avoided, your self-defense plea might not stand. The danger must be imminent – which means you feared for your life (or someone else's) and you had to take action immediately. For example, if you are threatened with murder if you show up for work, you cannot take action right away for something that may or may not occur in the future. As mentioned above, you don't necessarily have to wait until a person attacks you if you are in fear of imminent danger. For example, you can take action to defend yourself if you expect to be stabbed with a knife any minute. It is in regard to this final example that self-defense laws came about. It's an effort to not just defend yourself but to prevent something from happening.
You Used the Correct Level of Force
You shouldn't bring a knife to a gunfight, but you also cannot use more force than is necessary to defend yourself. This factor is one of the most difficult to overcome. Few victims have the foresight to imagine how far the aggressor will go. In many cases, the determination will come down to the age, build, gender, and weapon of the aggressor.
Speak to a resource like McKone & Unruh to find out more.