Whether you are out in public or within the confines of your own home, it’s important that you feel safe and secure. Unfortunately, in rare instances, people are subjected to criminal violence.
If this happens to you, are you entitled to defend yourself? Could you get in trouble for using violence? Outlined below is a brief outline of the law of self-defense in Georgia.
Was the force reasonable under the circumstances?
Proportionality is pivotal in cases of self-defense. For instance, if a person threatened to punch you or gave you a shove, it would be disproportionate to wound them fatally with a weapon. The maximum amount of force that you can use is only what is necessary to remove the threat against you.
Do you have to run away first?
Many states across the US impose a duty to retreat. Essentially, this means that when you are under threat, and there is an option to get out of there, then you must try to get away before using force to defend yourself. There is no such law in Georgia. In Georgia, you are entitled to stand your ground. If you stand your ground and use reasonable defensive force in your home or out in public, then this could be classified as self-defense.
Defining what is reasonable
There is no cut-and-dry answer to what amount of force is reasonable. Every violent situation is different in nature. Thus, the courts will examine the specific circumstances of each individual case.
If you’re facing criminal charges after defending yourself, then it’s in your best interests to seek legal guidance. This will help ensure that you come up with the best possible defense strategy in your case.