Legal Ramifications of Self Defense

The Legal Ramifications of Self Defense can be as brutal as if you lost the physical fight (bruised and battered and violated not dead or maimed of course).  You could easily find yourself arrested, facing charges for anything from excessive force to murder and paying many thousands of dollars for an attorney and bail.

The Legal Ramifications of Self Defense in individual states vary.  Please consult an attorney where you live for specifics as I am not an attorney and I am not giving you legal advice.

In many states you have a duty to retreat from an assailant and must be able to reasonably show that you did not try to engage in the encounter but instead tried to avoid it.  If you have to physically defend yourself then once the attacker is incapacitated you cannot repeatedly continue to stomp them to death.  If the police roll up and witness you doing this they will normally arrest you on the spot and they will be quite unfriendly about it and likely will be a witness testifying at your trial.

In real street self defense the legal and physical survival goals are usually the same.  Avoid the fight if possible.  If I am unable to avoid the fight then terminate the situation as quickly as possible and get away as quickly as possible.  Do not try to be humane in your response as this puts you at physical risk.  Do not be  overly intentionally and unnecessarily lethal (like continuing to stomp them with the goal of killing them) as this will most likely get you into legal trouble and also mean you did not try hard enough to physically get away.  Quickly ending the situation and getting away is also the smartest physical approach to the situation because you don’t know how many friends they have with them who may also be attacking you or who may choose to attack you once they see you have hurt their friend.