4 Fact Scenarios Which Can Limit a Self Defense Claim
A self-defense claim can be a very effective weapon for a criminal lawyer to use against any type of assault or murder charge. When investigating a claim of self-defense, the criminal attorney should be wary of facts which can limit or defeat a self-defense claim. Here are four fact scenarios which can defeat a self-defense claim.
1. Self-defense is not justified to verbal provocation alone. You can’t hit someone just because they have insulted you or made a derogatory remark.
2. Self-defense is not justified if the defendant consented to the exact force used. An easy example of this would be a boxing match.
3. Self-defense is not justified if the defendant provoked the difficulty. In other words, if the defendant started the trouble, he then can’t claim self-defense. You can’t provoke someone as an excuse to then assault them.
4. Self-defense is not justified if the defendant was engaged in criminal activity other than a class C misdemeanor. If a person tried to rob some one of their money and then is assaulted by the victim, you can’t claim self-defense.
Often these limitations on self-defense are highly contested issues. The jury is given instructions to consider the law and if they believe from the evidence the defendant’s actions are covered by these or other limitations then they cannot find the defendant not guilty based on self-defense.
It is very important for a defendant who believes he may have acted in self-defense to go over these facts carefully with an experienced criminal attorney. A criminal attorney will need to fully investigate the claim and develop further evidence.