Self-defense is the act of injuring or killing another to defend oneself. In the legal sense, self-defense is a claim made by a person that they only harmed the opposing party because their own life was in immediate threat or danger.
The thing about self-defense laws is that they vary quite a bit across different states. The amount of harm a person can cause to the other and the circumstances vary from state to state and something that may be entirely overlooked in one state may be considered a felony in another. There are 24 states which hold a ‘stand your ground’ law. This law states that individuals are not obliged to attempt to flee when they are in immediate danger and they can even use lethal force if required to defend themselves. In these states, a person can claim for self-defense in court and they may even be able to avoid a trial or any sort of punishment altogether.
Getting in touch with a proper attorney is essential for anyone who has gotten into a fight and who is being called to court to explain their actions. Though it is permissible for a person to kill in self-defense in these 24-states which encourage ‘stand your ground’ law, the other states are not so lenient.
Other states follow a ‘duty to retreat’ policy which means that individuals are supposed to try and escape before using deadly force and they can only use deadly force to defend themselves if there is absolutely no other option available. Some states such as California follow the Castle Doctrine which means that only if a person is in their home and they are confronted with immediate danger they can resort to deadly force as a form of self-defense.
Can I hit a police officer in self-defense?
Attempting to hurt someone willingly is referred to as assault or battery. If a person lashes out against an officer, even in self-defense, they can easily be charged with battery against an officer in court and this could lead to them facing some very serious penalties.
If a person is being attacked by an officer, it is in their best interest to try and simply defend themselves without fighting back. The moment a person hits an officer they can land in hot water with the law. A person could end up having to face 5-30 years in prison along with serious fines for lashing out against an officer. In order to be charged with battery against an officer, there must be evidence to prove that the person willingly hit the officer while knowing that the officer was on-duty.
If there is counter-evidence to prove that the police officer was abusing the person then the chances of having one’s charges lifted increase significantly. A police brutality attorney can aid a person through the process of collecting evidence and presenting the arguments in court to prove that a person only lashed out to counter the abuse they were being subjected to at the hands of the officer.