When can a person claim self-defense?

Getting into a physical altercation with another individual can be an overwhelming and difficult event. When a New Jersey resident finds themselves on the receiving end of an assault or attack, they may try to do whatever they can to stop and subdue their assailant. In some situations, their attackers may turn around and claim that the victims were actually the parties who caused physical harm with their actions.

When a person is threatened or harmed by another person, they may be able to employ self-defense tactics to mitigate their situation. Self-defense involves using proportional force and effort to deter or stop a threat from causing harm. Physical interaction does not have to precede the use of self-defense as imminent threats from aggressors may justify its use.

For example, a person may find themselves cornered by another individual who verbally claims that they are going to assault them. Rather than standing by allowing the aggressor to inflict harm on them, a victim may elect to push or subdue their attacker before the attacker has a chance to inflict harm on them. If in their defense of self the victim causes their aggressor an injury, they may be able to plead that they only acted in self-defense due to an imminent and real threat of harm to their person.

Other defense claims exist that are similar to self-defense, such as defense of others and defense of property. Individuals who are caught in difficult assault and injury-based crime allegations are advised to speak with criminal defense attorneys in their communities. Case-specific guidance is necessary for people who may face criminal sanctions for the actions they took to protect themselves from others.

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