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Can A Greensboro Criminal Defense Attorney Explain When Self-Defense Is A Valid Defense?

In Criminal by Greensboro Attorney

Can a Greensboro criminal defense attorney explain when self-defense is a valid defense?

Yes, of course we can! Self defense isn’t always as clear-cut as most people would think. For example, imagine a situation in which two individuals are in a public setting where they engage in a heated discussion. Next, imagine that the smaller of the two individuals pushes the larger individual and makes a threat to stomp them in the ground. The larger individual then comes back at the smaller one and punches them repeatedly until they pass out and, as a result, have permanent brain damage. In court the larger individual raises the question of self-defense, but they are unsuccessful. If you have questions about self-defense it is a good idea to contact a Greensboro criminal defense attorney before you assume you have a valid defense.


There are several things that go into determining a valid self-defense case. The first element that’s important to consider is necessity. Necessity essentially means that a reasonable person would think it was necessary to use defensive. In the hypothetical above, for example, the necessity element may not be met if the smaller person stopped their aggression and did not make advances after their threat. The second element to consider is proportionality. Proportionally essentially evaluates the amount of force used by the person raising self-defense versus the person who originally started the physical altercation. For example, in the above situation, the larger individual did not use proportional force because they used force that caused a serious bodily injury, while the smaller individual merely pushed them to start it. Lastly, you must consider fault. Fault essentially asks who started the altercation? In some instances, such as the one above, the aggressor (the smaller individual) can regain the right to use defensive force if the other person (the larger individual) uses a more serious level of force. This defense can be complex, so it’s important you consult a Greensboro criminal defense attorney to discuss your options.


Call a Greensboro criminal defense attorney today to discuss self-defense in your case. The criminal defense attorneys at Garrett, Walker, Aycoth, and Olson know the requirements of the law and also genuinely care about each case presented to them. Call today at 336-379-0539; we are here to help!