Self Defense Laws

The first rule in my 8 Rules of Self Defense blog post is to study your local self defense laws. By studying your local laws on self defense it will bring clarity to your self defense options and avoid the potential legal aftermath when protecting yourself.

self defense laws

Self Defense Laws Definition

Self defense is an act of preventing oneself or family member from bodily harm using reasonable physical force. The keyword is “reasonable,” the level of force used must match the level of threat.

Affirmative Defense

Claiming self defense is an affirmative defense. Meaning you have admitted to the prosecutor’s case against you. If you fail to prove that your self defense was justified, you have effectively pleaded guilty to the charges.

Duty to Retreat

A legal requirement to run, avoid, or escape towards safety when threaten before resorting to physical force.

Stand Your Ground Law

A justification to apply reasonable force in self defense without the requirement to retreat.

Castle Doctrine

A legal Doctrine that allows reasonable force in self defense inside that person’s home without the requirement of retreating. Negates the Duty To Retreat in a person’s home.

Immediate Threat

Self defense is only justified when used in a response to an immediate threat. The threat can be verbal or a telegraphed assault such as pulling back their fist for a punch or reaching for a weapon. Anything that triggers a fear of immediate harm. But once they are no longer a threat, self defense is no longer justified.

Study Your Local Self Defense Laws

Research your state and statutes on self defense. Read them, know them, and understand them. Below are some search terms you can search on Google:

  • Use of Force Statute [your state here]
  • Self Defense Statute [your state here]
  • Deadly Force statute [your state here]

Search for articles or blog post such as:

Self Defense Laws [your state here]

Then look for blog posts and articles in the Google results. Most of the time you will find articles written by a lawyer as an effort to advertise their services. Read a few self defense law articles from different sources and compare information.

Seek Legal Advice

If you are ever in a situation you had to defend yourself, I suggest to consider retaining a lawyer to help with the potential legal aftermath that may follow.

There are some monthly membership legal plans that you can purchase. Some will provide legal advice and represent you in court for certain amount of hours a month. I would research on different companies that provide this type of service and compare.


US Knife Laws

Legal Outline of All the States

Self Defense Overview

Check out Roy Millers article: I.M.O.P. Principle—Intent, Means, Opportunity and Preclusion

Check out Roy Millers Book: Meditations On Violence

Disclaimer: I’m not a lawyer. Test everything you read on this page and get legal advice from a lawyer.


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