LawyersKey - Lawyers Key » LawyersKey » Work Lawyer » When can I legally shoot an attacker ? in self defense?

  #1 (permalink)
: law says imminent threat to life
but can you help define this for me
like if they attacked me and I hit them in the side would i go to jail because they might say they were trying to run away in court?
btw Florida

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  #2 (permalink)
: If they tried to punch you or something, you'd go to jail. If they had a gun and were pointing it at you or a knife and trying to stab you, you'd probably be fine. Just think of it as that you will go to jail no matter what, and only do it if the only other alternative is dying.
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  #3 (permalink)
: It would depend on the specific language of you state law.
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  #4 (permalink)
: If you live in Florida.

Otherwise, in other states, the attacker has to have a weapon as well and you have to prove self-defense.
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  #5 (permalink)
: it really depends on the situation. if they had a weapon and they were on your property running after you then yes. if you caught them in your yard and they were running away then no.
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  #6 (permalink)
: you are confusing law with evidence. The law is what the court will give to a jury, and they will apply the evidence to that law. You can use reasonable and necessary force to prevent imminent serious bodily harm. No one can tell you every nuance that might apply. The jury would consider every word of evidence, perhaps presented over days of trial, and not just the few words in your question.
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  #7 (permalink)
: Only if you have reason to believe your life is at risk or they were doing some kind of horrific torture
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  #8 (permalink)
: Good news is I live in Arizona, so just like Florida we have stand your ground.
Basically in every state your home is your castle and you have a right to defend it any way you want.
In stand your ground, you are considered the castle.
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  #9 (permalink)
: Exact laws vary by location.

You'd need to show you were in reasonable fear of your life -- you'd essentially need to show that most others in your shoes would have done the same thing. This is usually going to mean something like they have a gun, they're coming at you with a knife, etc.

Yes, if you hit them in the side and essentially disable them, then still go ahead and shoot them, it's likely to not look necessary. The threat to your life wasn't imminent. But everything about the incident gets taken into account, such as if they'd threatened you, how and why they attacked you, if you could have avoided things, etc. Some states also give you increased ability to use deadly force if you're some place like your home, with somebody breaking in.
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  #10 (permalink)
: If you cannot convince a jury or a court that you were indeed fearing serious injury or death from an individual you will be tried convicted of other than self defense. Some states have a "Stand your ground" ruling which may also play a role in the court proceedings. You will definitely need a lawyer in any case.
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