While violence against another person is generally considered unlawful, there is an exception when it comes to reasonable self-defense.
Self-Defense Laws in Arizona
If you commit an act of violence in self-defense, then it must be deemed necessary in defending yourself. For example, if someone attacks you and you punch them, causing them to fall to the ground, that will most likely be deemed a justifiable act of self-defense. However, if you then start pummeling them instead of freeing yourself from the situation while you can, you may face charges.
Use of Deadly Force in Self-Defense
If you use deadly force in self-defense, it must be determined that the person you used it against was going to use deadly force on you. Basically, if you've taken someone's life in self-defense, it has to be because a sane person in your situation would consider it life-threatening.
Complications arise depending on the situation, especially in deadly force cases. If you're a 6-foot three man with 250 pounds of mostly muscle and you use deadly force on a 5-foot tall, unarmed elderly woman who hits you, prosecutors will likely argue that deadly force was not warranted.
Arizona Stand Your Ground Law
Arizona is known as a Stand Your Ground state, which means you are not obligated to retreat before you threaten or use deadly force – as long as you legally have the right to be where you are, and aren't committing any illegal acts. If someone is stalking you and they show up at your door, and you tell them you have a gun and you're not afraid to use it, you're standing your ground. In such a situation, of course you should call the police, but Stand Your Ground is meant to protect you while you wait for them to arrive.
If you were forced to take action in self-defense, you'll want to work with an experienced attorney who can help you prove that your alleged actions were justified. Contact Garcia Law, PLLC today for a free legal consultation.