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 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.
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.
- Term related to Affirmative Defense: Imperfect Self Defense
Duty to Retreat
A legal requirement to run, avoid, or escape towards safety when threaten before resorting to physical force.
- Duty To Retreat States
Stand Your Ground Law
A justification to apply reasonable force in self defense without the requirement to retreat.
- States That Have Stand Your Ground Laws
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.
- States with The Castle Doctrine
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.
Check out Legal Shield. This is a link of a friend of mine who has been a member for 12 years.
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.