Do you have an interest in self-defense? Do you keep a firearm at home for home defense? Do you carry any defensive tools or a firearm even sometimes? Have you taken any firearms training courses or self-defense classes? In any case, are you fully prepared to legally respond to a threat even from someone in your neighborhood or, God Forbid, getting targeted by a criminal?
Can You Win Two fights?
Winning the physical fight is first and foremost! You must win/survive the fight or everything else is of pretty low priority. Maybe you have prepared to win the physical fight by martial arts or firearms training, etc. Good for you! Assuming you win the fight, there is the second fight (the legal fight) you must also win. That is where your prior knowledge of the law and resulting appropriate use of force can save your liberty, your wallet, and life as you know it.
Self-defense law is not all that difficult or tricky. There are five fundamental legal elements. They are Innocence, Proportionality Avoidance, Imminence, and Reasonableness (covered in later blogs). If you have trained or are training in any kind of self-defense mode, and the instructors are not talking about these fundamentals, then you are not getting the information you need. That puts you at risk for getting in serious legal trouble when you make a mistake out of ignorance.
Here are some reasons why knowledge of the law is so important.
1. As above, you must win the physical fight – fine. However, shortly after any use-of-force incident, the judicial system will enter the picture and be there to judge your conduct. Were your actions justified self-defense or were they criminal? Will you walk free, or will you face a trial that will affect the rest of your life? Those questions alone should alert you enough to seriously consider studying the laws that can keep you out of legal trouble!
2. There are five basic elements that constitute self-defense law. Did you know that if a prosecutor can show that you did not follow the rules of even one element, your self-defense claim will collapse – no self-defense claim will be allowed. That could be very bad! A jury, who will decide your fate, will never hear the words “self-defense”.
3. If you are prohibited from presenting a defense of self-defense in court, that means you will have to face any underlying criminal charge (from assault to murder) naked – with no legal excuse/justification for your actions. That can make it an easy case to win for the prosecutor. Obviously, that is going to be tragic.
End Part One. Stay Tuned for Part Two Coming Soon!
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