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Distinguishing self-defense from assault

On Behalf of | Feb 24, 2017 | Criminal Defense

“I was only acting in self-defense.” Such is the claim that you may hear from many in Greenburg that are charged with assault. Many come to us here at Schimmizzi Law, LLC with such a claim only to later learn that it is the state that sets the guidelines for what constitutes self-defense, not the individual. If you are facing charges over an incident in which you felt you were justifiably defending yourself, then you may want to review the laws outlining acceptable cases of self-defense in Pennsylvania in order to support your belief.

According to the state law as shared by the website for the Pennsylvania General Assembly, you are justified in using force on another person only if you believe that such action is necessary to stop that person from using force against you. The only exception to this would be if you were using such force to resist arrest, or the person threatening to use it against you is only doing so to protect his or her own property (or property that he or she has been asked to protect on the owners behalf).

Certain scenarios may seem to call for the use of deadly force to defend yourself or your family. Such force may be justified if you believe it to be necessary to protect yourself against any of the following outcomes:

  •          Death
  •          Serious bodily injury
  •          Kidnapping
  •          Sexual assault

If you provoked your would-be assailant, you may not be able to cite self-defense. You are also expected to retreat if doing so will avoid the need for deadly force, unless you are being assailed in your home or place of business.

You can learn more about defending yourself from assault charges by continuing to explore our site.