Were you just defending yourself, but got arrested anyway?

Someone called the police, and it may have been you. However, when police arrived and found you in a physical altercation with one or more people, officers probably just arrested everyone in order to break up the fight with the intention of sorting things out once all was quiet and anyone who needs it received medical care.

Afterward, it's possible that you could face a first-class game of "he said-she said" as police interview everyone involved. You could find yourself facing the possibility of defending yourself against charges for assault, battery or both. You know that your part in the altercation was self-defense, but you may need to do some work to make officials see it.

How do you that?

First, you do have the right to defend yourself against harm by using a comparable amount of force to fend off your attacker and protect your life. This seems simple enough, but it often gets complicated rather quickly. The following questions could arise when you make a claim of self-defense, especially if your attacker suffered serious injuries:

  • Would a reasonable person have considered the actions of the other party as threatening?
  • Would a reasonable person have felt the threat was imminent and immediate?
  • Would a reasonable person have determined that the level of force used was appropriate under the circumstances?
  • Would a reasonable person believe that you felt that your life was in danger even if it actually wasn't?
  • Did you provoke the attack in any way?

As you can see, the situation is not as simple as someone attacked you, so you fought back. Fortunately, you have no duty to retreat from the situation here in South Carolina. You may stand your ground. If you were in your home when the attack occurred, it may be a bit easier to prove that you were defending yourself.

Don't go it alone

You may not have had someone helping you defend yourself during the attack, but that does not mean that you must continue to go it alone. You may find it beneficial to discuss your circumstances with a criminal defense attorney who can assist you in answering the above questions. The potential penalties for the charges you face could be severe.

Even though you know what happened and are certain that the facts will bear that out, it could be a mistake not to take enlist some help in protecting your right to self-defense.

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