There is a fine line that exists between self-defense and assault, which is often a blurry subject for most people. Many would debate the various limitations and when it would be permissible to claim someone got hurt due to self-defense. As all sorts of interpretations arise that range from being liberal to conservative, you need the help ofcriminal defense attorney in Mt Laurel NJ to set things straight.
Misconceptions are at the order of the day, and in many cases, the law will take its course and dictate whether the accused was merely defending themselves or if they were guilty of assault. Top law firms like NJ Traffic Court are often asked about the true meaning of self-defense and when it can be classed as such.
More About Self-Defense Law
Depending on the state you are living in, the laws about self-defense would vary. Ultimately, whether you are based in New York City or Mt Laurel, New Jersey, the basic rules would remain the same.
Self-defense laws in New Jersey state that the defendant is within their right use force to defend themselves against the use of unlawful force by someone else whether it be on their property or elsewhere.
In the case of protecting property, law firms like NJ Traffic Court would make the client aware of the fact that before using force, they should have requested the intruder to stop interfering with their property. Unless, of course, the request would have been useless or seen as dangerous as it would have been too late to give a warning still to the person intruding.
Furthermore, if the individual is using force to prevent bodily harm to a family member or friend in their home, then it is unlikely that they will be in legal jeopardy of any kind as they were out to protect the third person using reasonable means.
If however, the force that was applied by the defender did not seem necessary for the defendant to protect him or herself or the force they used was too intense and inappropriate, then such force will not be justifiable and claiming self-defense in a criminal prosecution would fail.
Evidence of Rationality
New Jersey legislation is saying that the person being charged with assault, and claiming it was self-defense, should have used a form of self-defense that is reasonable to the relation of the force used against him or her. An example of this is if the intruder pushed you around and you make use of a blunt object to hit them to the head. This would not be classed as self-defense. However, if the person who is busy attacking you swings a heavy object towards you, then you would be within your right to do the same out of self-defense.
Secondly, your belief that the other person is about to harm you using unlawful force should be reasonable and beyond any doubt. For instance, a girlfriend is busy screaming at her boyfriend, then she punches him as he yelled back, it would not be classed as self-defense as it would be unreasonable to believe her boyfriend was about to physically harm her in any way just because he screamed at her.
According to Mark Bernstein of NJ Traffic Court, criminal defense attorney , the same stipulations would apply to self-defense when using deadly force. If somebody is using violent force against you, then you have the right to do the same to them. For instance, if an intruder comes into your home and aims a gun at your family, then you have the right to shoot and even kill the intruder to protect the lives of your family.
In cases where a defense attorney in Mt Laurel, New Jersey cannot convince the prosecution that the defendant’s self-defense claim is valid, then the case would go to trial and be presented to the jury and judge of the court. In a scenario like this, the defense attorney needs to prove additional claims that their client was:
- In a place that they had the right to be in
- They acted without fault and did not instigate or provoke violence or participated willingly in violent acts.
- In a fearful state and faced severe bodily harm or death
Say a bar fight took place where two guys ended up screaming at each other and say the words – “hit me” or “do something”, then it would be classed as a willingness to engage in violence so that if one guy knocks out the teeth of the other party, a claim of self-defense would not stand up in court.
Call the Law Office of Mark Bernstein of NJ Traffic Court at ( 609) 665-3338 to learn more about self-defense laws in Mt Laurel, New Jersey.