Local & Reliable Legal Guidance

What Are the Elements of Self-Defense?

For those charged with assault or battery in Georgia may be able to count on self-defense in specific circumstances. If the court decides that you acted in self-defense, then no further charges can come from that action. The stakes are always higher when charged with violent crimes. Utilizing self-defense only occurs in reaction to a violent crime. Do you know if your actions fall under the umbrella of self-defense?

The law itself is a complex one. According to Georgia Code, you are justified to use force against another person if you believe that force is necessary to defend yourself. If you use force that may cause serious bodily injury or death, then you have to be under the reasonable belief that it is necessary. For it to be necessary, you have to believe that you are at risk of serious bodily injury or death.

You cannot use force, however, if you provoke an assault to inflict harm upon another person. Likewise, if you commit or flee an attempted felony, you may not have justification. If you enter into a combat agreement and do not communicate that you wish to withdraw, you may not be able to claim self-defense. If you continue to use force after someone reveals that he or she no longer wants to fight, you cannot use self-defense as an excuse.

In cases where a person uses deadly force, it is important to note that you have to be under reasonable belief that deadly force was an immediate necessity. These self-defense facts are for educational purposes only and are not legal advice.