If you are charged with a crime and part of your defense is that you were defending yourself at the time the crime occurred, that may be a defense of self defense.
Self Defense relies on the general theory of was the action used by the accused reasonable. Meaning if you were involved in a scuffle with a person, and you use your hands to thwart an attack, it may be reasonable for you to touch or strike or push that person if you believe or are in fear of imminent bodily harm. Ultimately, the defense of self defense is determined by the Jury. Do the facts of your case determine if your use of self defense was reasonable .
Sometimes its not reasonable. If someone is going to hit you with their hands and you shoot them with a gun, most state laws would indicate that this is an unreasonable use of force. The rule of thumb is that you cannot use any force that is greater than the force that is being used on you.
Another question is, can I use self defense to defend a third party? Most states will confine the use of defense to yourself and/or a family member.
If you have a case involving self defense that you would like to discuss, please schedule a Free Consultation with a Self Defense Attorney at Carlson, Meissner, Hart & Hayslett.
Self Defense Lawyer Kevin Hayslett,
describes the use of self defense
in more detail.