How does a defense of self defense work in Arizona?

Using self defense as a defense, when you are accused of a crime, is a legally accepted principle across the US legal system. The general principles of self defense are the same, but the details do differ slightly from state to state. If you have been accused of a crime, and believe you acted in self defense, you may be able to use this fact as an acceptable defense. There are times when this type of defense is not accepted; there are several different things to consider, when it comes to self defense.

The aim of this article is to take a look at the principal of self defense; especially as it relates to the laws of Arizona. Hopefully, this information can help you if you have found yourself in a difficult legal situation.

What is self defense?

Self defense is the use of reasonable force to overcome the threat of immediate physical harm to an individual or their family. The threat can be verbal, but it has to a threat that makes an individual believe that physical danger is imminent. If someone is armed with a knife and telling you that they are going to stab you, then you would be justified in defending yourself. On the other hand, if someone is simply being verbally abusive, this does not justify you punching them to the ground.

On the face of it, self defense seems like quite a simple concept. The problem is that different people perceive threats in different ways. This is why the use of self defense is judged by determining how a "reasonable person" would act in a particular situation.

What is reasonable force?

The acceptance of a defense of self defense is not only judged on whether it was reasonable for a person to act in self defense. It's also important that only reasonable force was used. If someone hits you then it's reasonable to hit them back, but it's not reasonable to knock them to the floor and then kick them severely. It's also not reasonable to carry on attacking someone once the imminent threat has gone.

One of the big areas of contention, when it comes to self defense, can be the use of deadly force. You are only ever justified in using deadly force if your own life is in imminent danger.

Stand your ground

In the past, there was a clause in self defense laws that stated you should always attempt to get away from the imminent danger first. This is no longer the case in most states. Arizona is one of the states that has taken this part of the law in the opposite direction. The stand your ground part of the law allows for you to stay where you are when you feel threatened, as long as you are legally allowed to be there and you are not doing anything illegal. You are not required to retreat. However, you are not permitted to act in a manner which may inflame the situation.

We have covered the basics of the defense of self defense in Arizona, in this article. If you have any concerns, or need legal assistance, you should speak to a Phoenix Criminal attorney. They can give you any professional advice and representation you need.

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