Is Self-Defense A Valid Defense for a Fight? An Attorney Like Aric Cramer Can Help You Find Out

It can be difficult for the police to determine who was the instigator in a fight, so it often ends with both of the people involved being arrested and charged with assault. The victim in this instance may be able to use self-defense as a defense against the charges and can end up with the charges against them dismissed. However, they will want to speak with an attorney to find out if this is a valid defense.

When Can Self-Defense Be Used?

Self-defense can be used if a person is defending themselves against bodily harm. In Utah, the person does not have a duty to retreat if they have entered a place lawfully. This means that a person can defend themselves with reasonable force if they are attacked while they are in a place they are legally allowed to be.

When is Self Defense Not a Valid Defense?

Self-defense cannot be used if the person was attacked during the commission of a crime, if they used unreasonable force, if they started a fight verbally with the intent to cause a physical fight, or if they agreed to fight with the person. There are some exceptions to these basic rules, but the person will need to speak with a lawyer to determine if their case falls under one of the exceptions.

Reasonable Versus Unreasonable Force

Reasonable force is defined as the force needed to stop the threat. If a person is attacked, they can stop the attack but must stop what they are doing after the attacker is no longer a threat.

It can be difficult for a person to tell the difference between reasonable and unreasonable or deadly force, which is why they’ll want to contact a lawyer if they’re arrested for the fight. The lawyer can help defend them by showing they did use reasonable force for the perceived threat at the time of the fight. 

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If you’ve been arrested and charged with assault due to a fight but you were defending yourself, talk to a lawyer about the possibility of using self-defense to avoid a conviction. A lawyer like Aric Cramer can help defend you against the charges your facing and can let you know if self-defense is a valid defense in your case.