Can I claim self defense?
Self-defense. So, whether it’s in a bar fight, or if you’re in your home and a burglar enters, the law generally allows you to meet force with force. So what that means if, certainly, if I’m in a bar, and some idiot bows up to punch at me, I don’t have to stand there and take it. I can fight back and throw a punch back. Now, obviously, I can’t throw the first punch; that’s assault. But I am allowed to meet force with force. The same goes for deadly force. If I’m in my home, and an intruder comes in, and he’s waving a knife around, I can shoot him dead because I’ve met force with force. The key to remembering self-defense, and this of course most important in a life-or-death situation, if you are about to use deadly force, you need to be able to legitimately say I was in imminent fear. In other words, I was in immediate threat of serious bodily injury or death. So, if that intruder turns around as soon as you pull your gun, and he runs out the front door and you shoot him dead in the back in your front lawn, you’ve just committed homicide because he was running away, and your life was not in immediate danger. Now, if you shoot him in the chest in your living room as he’s coming at you with a knife, certainly that is legitimate self-defense.