What is self-defense, and when can it be used to get a criminal case dismissed?
Self-defense can be an effective criminal case strategy in many circumstances. Our office has successfully defended clients who acted in self-defense.
If you believe that the use of force was necessary for self-defense, you may have been justified to use force. When someone pleads self-defense, they are often partially or completely successful. Most judges and jurors intuitively feel they know what self-defense is.
If you claim self-defense in a case, evidence showing your state of mind may be considered. This evidence can include previous incidents with the person who assaulted you, threats, or other things that show you had a reason to be more fearful than another person might — for example, a woman who has a history of being battered.
If you know that the person with whom you have been involved in an altercation has a history of violence, it can support your claim of self-defense. The same force that would be unreasonable to use against a presumably peaceful citizen may be considered reasonable in response to similar behavior by a man of known violent and aggressive tendencies.
In addition to self-defense, there are other situations that may justify the use of force. These include when a person reasonably believes he must use force to defend against an attack on a dwelling or against the trespass or interference with his or her property. A person’s home is his or her castle, and it can be legally defended against illegal entry or attack.
None of the above exceptions apply when the person using force is the original aggressor, unless he has reason to believe that he is in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm, or if he tries to withdraw from the conflict but the assailant either continues or resumes the use of force.
If you believe you have a valid Self-defense claim, contact our Springfield Criminal Self-Defense lawyers today at (217) 414-8889 for a free initial consultation