Self-defense is a defense strategy for violent crimes, including assault, battery and murder. If you protect yourself with force or violence when responding to a threat, it can apply to your case.
The following are three elements of self-defense:
Imminence is a crucial element in self-defense. Therefore, if someone attacks you and you believe the use of physical force is necessary to protect yourself, you can use force to defend yourself.
The court will consider certain factors to determine if your belief was justified. For instance, they will assess if a reasonable person would think the use of physical force was necessary to protect themselves in the same situation.
Proportionate use of force
Your use of physical force should be reasonable when compared to the assault. For instance, if someone punches you and you punch back, this is proportionate. Hence, if you believe your action was a reasonable response to the threat, self-defense may be a valid option.
Period of defense
When a threat ends, using physical force may no longer be appropriate. It may be unlawful to continue using force after the offender stops attacking you or ceases to be a legitimate threat. Thus, if your period of defense matched the assault, you can use self-defense.
If your case meets these elements, self-defense may be applicable. If not, you may need to employ other strategies.
Whatever criminal charges you are facing, it is pivotal to have legal guidance on your side.