Self-defense cases involve cases when the defendant attempts to say that they are not guilty because the murder was the result of their attempts to defend themselves. Self-defense is also a legal concept that extends to the protection of another person as well. Self-defense, when applied to the protection of other people, is called defense of a third person, defense of others, or an alter ego defense.
In order for self-defense cases to be successful, the force exerted by the defendant must be an appropriate response to the threat posed to them by the situation. An argument of self-defense is considered an affirmative defense. In order for deadly force to be an appropriate form of self-defense the threat that the victim posed to the defendant must be considered an extreme danger. If you need legal advice and assistance, contact defense lawyers.
Self-defense cases do not apply if the victim is no longer a threat to the defendant when the defendant shoots the victim. A defendant invoking the right to self-defense to justify their killing of a victim who has been restrained or who was attempting to flee the scene will not have met the necessary legal basis to justify their attempted defense.
A crucial issue of many self-defense cases involves the idea of a duty to retreat. This means that the defendant is obliged to avoid the conflict. There are, however, several exceptions to this concept. The first is that a defendant invoking a defense predicated upon the concept of self-defense is not bound by the duty of retreat if the attack takes place in their own home.
This is because of the concept of "a man's home as his castle," and the idea that the safest place a person should be able to find is within their own home. Self-defense is sometimes used to justify a person’s use of violence, even deadly force, when the defendant has been attacked in a place where they have a legal right to occupy and reasonable expectation of security.
Another classification of self-defense cases include when the defendant is the victim of domestic abuse. The self-defense of a victim of domestic abuse against her abuser is a specific formulation of the self-defense argument. In this formulation, commonly referred to as a "battered woman defense,"
it is argued that the killing of the abuser is the only way that the killer could provide for their own defense and only viable method to escape the pattern of abuse to which they have been subject.
Self-defense cases which properly claim this defense must show that the defendant was acting out of a reasonable fear for their safety and that the violence of their response matched the violence with which they were being threatened.
When the defendant attempts to defend the rights of another person the defendant is held to the standard that they must believe that the person they are attempting to defend would be able to invoke self-defense for themselves.