The law surrounding self-defence is one that is easily misinterpreted given the fact that the phrase is commonly used outside a legal setting. Find out more about what to do if you find yourself in this situation here.
Have you acted in self defence?
The law surrounding self-defence is one that is easily misinterpreted given the fact that the phrase itself is commonly used outside a legal setting.
When arriving at a verdict the court will think about the types of self-defence and the stages that must be considered.
It can be lawful to assault another person in self-defence, defence of another person, defence of property or in the prevention of crime.
The next stage is to consider what was in the mind of the person using the force and whether the actions were reasonable in the circumstances. Relevant to this are factors such as mistaken belief, memory loss, whether it was genuinely held, who is inflicting the assault and who is subject to it, and whether there are others involved or an opportunity existed not to use force.
Following that, the court would consider how much force was used and whether those actions were a proportionate response. In arriving at the current legal position on this stage there have been many cases considered by the courts in which various types of self-defence issues have been argued.
Self-defence cases often involve people having to display to the court that they were an innocent party caught up in disorder and that the actions they took were necessary in the circumstances. If you find that you are the subject of unwarranted accusations of this type then contact the Criminal Litigation Department for free initial advice or email Piers Desser.