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Safety, Products and Liability: A Legal Blog

Welcome to my blog. This blog is dedicated to helping anyone who is currently in the midst of a liability issue. A few years ago, my daughter contracted listeria due to poorly packaged food. She, thankfully, was okay, but we still took her case to court. I want all families who have been affected by liability issues to understand their rights, so I decided to start this blog. My beautiful daughter is now 17 and preparing to start uni next year. I have three younger children as well and an amazing husband. Thank you for reading my blog. Please share my posts if they help you!

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Safety, Products and Liability: A Legal Blog

Understanding Self-Defence in Case of an Assault

by Liesanne Martin

In brief, self-defence refers to the use of physical force to protect yourself from harm. Generally, the law allows you to defend yourself from harm in some circumstances. However, many people find themselves on the wrong side of the law because they act inappropriately in cases where self-defence does not apply or ceases to apply amidst the threat they are facing. Here are some few things you need to know about self-defence to help you act appropriately and keep away from the wrong side of the law:  

The Threat Must Be Imminent

Self-defence is only acceptable as a form of defence in court if you used force to counter an immediate and evident threat that you faced. Even if the threat is verbal, self-defence is acceptable if it put you in a position where there is immediate and certain fear of physical harm to you. However, if the assailant uses offensive words without any immediate threat to cause physical harm, then it is not acceptable for you to use physical force against them in the name of self-defence. For instance, if someone threatens to hurt you and comes brandishing a machete or knife, then it is reasonable to use force against such a person. The presence of a weapon brandished threateningly is an immediate threat. Such a case would allow you to use force for self-defence unlike one where there is no weapon.

Proportionality of Force

The force you use against a person must be reasonably comparable to the element they are using to threaten you. For example, if an assailant attacks you with a whip, the reasonable force used to counter such an attack should be comparable to the injuries that a whip can cause. Therefore, using a gun to shoot the assailant in such a case would be considered inappropriate because the force used to counter the attack is not proportional to the imminent threat caused by a whip.

Imperfect Self-defence

Imperfect self-defence is often considered in cases where you provoked the attack. For instance, if you create a conflict with one of your friends and its ends up becoming violent to the point where you end up killing the other person, then it is considered imperfect self-defence. The violent nature of the situation makes the use of reasonable force acceptable because you are defending yourself. However, the fact that you are responsible for the resultant violent situation does not eliminate the murder charges entirely. Self-defence just helps to reduce the sentence you will face. 

If you have been charged with a crime for defending yourself, contact a criminal lawyer to have them look at your case.