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When does defense become an act of violence?

You may know that a good defense to accusations of domestic violence or assault is to show that you were the victim and had to defend yourself. That being said, there is a point at which your defense will be considered violence or assault, too, if you go too far.

The response you have to violence has to be reasonable, as determined by the average person. For example, if someone slaps you, it would potentially be reasonable to walk away, slap them back or block an attack. It would not be reasonable to pull out a gun and shoot them (in most cases).

You need to be able to justify your level of defense

When you’re dealing with a case accusing you of violence of any kind, your best bet is being able to defend your use of violence and show that you only did what you had to do to stay safe.

For example, if someone approached you with a weapon and aimed at you, it would potentially be reasonable to run away, attack them to remove the weapon or even pull out a weapon of your own. Your response should be equal to the threat against you.

On the other hand, if you walk into a bar and notice a fight going on, getting closer to get involved isn’t defense. A defense would be to walk away. There are exceptions, though, such as if you step in to help someone you know protect themselves.

Self-defense claims are more complicated than they seem

It’s unfortunate but true that self-defense claims are complicated and can be hard to defend in court. In most cases, judges like to see that someone tried to flee a dangerous situation rather than escalating it whenever possible. That said, there are times when it’s simply impossible to leave a dangerous situation or where you have no other option than to fight back. Your response should be reasonable, but when people are in fight or flight mode, they may do things that others find extreme.

If you’re facing accusations of violence, now is the time to fight back. You have the option to defend yourself and protect yourself against unfair charges.