Just like the 2016 political rallies, this year’s post-election season has resulted in a surprising amount of violence. Whether you see someone attacking a Trump supporter because they are angry about the election results or someone molesting a woman because they feel the president elect’s “locker room talk” has given them justification for such actions, you have the right to protect other people under the law. Here’s what you should know about protecting others without violating the law, courtesy of Carmel Valley violent crime defense attorney Peter M. Liss.
While most people know that you can claim that you acted in self defense in order to fight charges of violent crimes, including homicide, attempted murder, assault, battery and road rage, fewer people know that the same legal precedent applies to protecting others. That means that if you see someone being sexually assaulted, beaten or threatened, you can step in to protect them if necessary.
There are restrictions to what you can do in the name of defending yourself or others though, and that means you can’t beat someone within an inch of their life for flipping someone off. In order to justifiably claim you acted in self-defense, you need to have reasonably believed that you or another person was in actual danger of being illegally harmed, injured or killed and that you used no more force than necessary to stop that from happening. You do not need to try to escape or help someone else escape the situation before using force. These details are important, so make sure there is an actual threat and that you do not do any more injury than necessary to stop the threat or else your Carmel Valley defense attorney may not be able to successfully argue that you acted in self defense.
In some clear-cut cases of self defense or defense of another person, you may not even face charges, this is particularly true if you have a number of witnesses and you used minimal force to stop the threat. In cases involving the use of deadly force, on the other hand, you will need to be able to prove that you used deadly force only against a deadly threat -for example, if someone is armed with a weapon of is using extreme physical violence, you may be able to argue that you used necessary force by killing or nearly killing the attacker. Because “excessive force” can be so subjective, it is generally best to insist on speaking with your Carmel Valley criminal lawyer before answering any police questions.
If you have any questions about self defense or the defense of another, or if you have been accused of a violent crime, please call (760) 643-4050 or (858) 486-3024 to schedule a free initial consultation with a top criminal defense lawyer in Carmel Valley.
Creative Commons Image courtesy of Wikipedia