In the state of Arizona law, there is a thin legal line that separates what is self-defense to the crime of assault and what constitutes an assault charge. To avoid crossing the line, you must know what your specific rights are, as well as their limitations.
The Arizona Standing Your Ground and Self-Defense LawsAccording to the Arizona self-defense laws, you are under no obligation to retreat before resorting to threat or the use of physical force if you have the legal right to stay where you are. For the purpose of self-defense, using physical force is justifiable. It is also allowed in cases when doing so could stop another person from committing a crime. The Arizona self-defense law is spelled out in ARS § 13-404, while the use of lethal physical force is covered in ARS § 13-405. The law says you can employ physical force if the situation warrants it. The force must be reasonable, and it must be in proportion to the gravity of the threat. This means it is unlawful to use unlimited physical force – even in the presence of a threat or if you are in a precarious situation where your life and limb are at risk. The law also applies when defending other people who may be in danger or under threat. The use of physical force is allowed, particularly when the people involved cannot defend themselves. However, said force must be to an extent that is deemed reasonable and in proportion to the threat.
When Physical Force Is Not Permissible for Self-DefenseVarious situations do not allow the use of physical force as a self-defense strategy. These include the following:
- There is only a verbal threat.
- Law enforcement officers are in the process of arresting you.
- Your action results in the injury or death of an innocent third party.
- Your action triggered physical force or threats to be thrown your way by another person.
Common Defense Scenarios for Assault CasesSelf-defense is an often-used strategy for cases of assault. If you are charged with the use of excessive force, the charges may be dropped, and your case will altogether be dismissed if your lawyer can prove that your use of physical force was necessary and justified. However, for the defense strategy to work, there are several things that you need to establish. Aside from the previously mentioned factors, you will also need to prove that there was no other way to diffuse the situation. You must also establish that you didn’t make threats, provoke, or attack the other party first. When your lawyer invokes self-defense, it will be in the prosecution’s hands to prove that your use of force against another person was not justified in the particular situation. Your lawyer can enhance the credibility of this particular defense scenario by making sure of the following:
- The testimonies of witnesses and experts are reliable.
- The person you used physical force on has a history of getting into confrontations or violence. This is crucial since your knowledge about the other person’s past history may cause you to feel threatened.
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