Inland Empire Criminal Defense

Self Defense

In California, you are allowed to use force against another person if the you reasonably believe that you must use force to defend yourself against the threat of immediate harm. In other words, if you are threatened with an attack, you have the right to defend yourself, and fight back.

The amount of force you can use to defend must be reasonable in relation to the threatened harm. For example, if a person bumps into you or pushes you, you cannot go into your home and get a chainsaw to cut the other person to pieces. If someone strikes you with their hand, reasonable responses would dictated you would be able to defend yourself by also using your hands to strike back.

Also, you must reasonably believe that you are immediately about to be harmed. The immediacy aspect of this requires a reaction in the moment. It isn’t enough to say that a person was intending to attack you the following day, to justify you attacking that person today. You cannot self-defend against future, promised harm.

You are also not privileged to use deadly force unless you are confronted with deadly force. This is similar to the above, where deadly force can only be used if the threat against you is deadly force. If a person has a gun and is shooting at you, you are then privilege to use your gun to shoot back at them

If you were the one who started the conflict, you can’t claim self-defense unless the other person used excessive force or if you clearly communicated your intention to stop fighting and they continued. Simply stating that you want to disengage can change the situation. Essentially, starting a fight doesn’t mean you lose your right to self-defense. Another aspect is Defense of a Third Party, where you defend someone else as if you were them, applying the same rules of self-defense.

For detailed insights on the defense of self-defense and legal support, connect with Ontario Criminal Defense attorney Adam Jackson. Benefit from a complimentary consultation and comprehensive case evaluation by reaching out today at (909) 939-7126. Conveniently located in Ontario, CA, Mr. Jackson is dedicated to assisting clients with their legal needs.

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