Can You Get Arrested for Self-Defense in Davidson County, TN?
Imagine you had to defend yourself from an attacker. It was a terrifying experience, but you managed to fight them off, as you were armed and, therefore, escaped unharmed. Unfortunately, the attacker was not so lucky. They were badly injured and later died in the hospital.
This type of case happens often and highlights an important question: Can you get arrested for self-defense in Davidson County or anywhere else in Tennessee? The answer can be complicated, so you need to discuss a self-defense case with a Davidson County criminal defense attorney.
General Self-Defense Principles
U.S. laws covering self-defense allow a person to use lethal force in situations where they are facing death or serious bodily harm - either to themselves or another party.
Tennessee also follows a “stand your ground” law. This legislation removes the duty to retreat before using deadly force when you’re defending yourself against an attack. This holds true as long as you’re not involved in an unlawful activity yourself and you’re in a location where you’re entitled to be.
Reviewing the Self-Defense Legislation in Davidson County and Tennessee
Let’s look at how the law views self-defense in Davidson County, Tennessee.
In the state of Tennessee, self-defense is a legally recognized way to protect yourself from harm; however, there are important factors to consider when asserting self-defense as a justification for using force.
Defining Reasonable Force
Reasonable force is defined as the amount of force necessary to stop a perceived threat without causing excessive harm. It’s essential to recognize that you must stop once the threat has diminished, as any additional use of force may be considered excessive and result in criminal charges.
More About the Stand Your Ground Law in Tennessee
Tennessee is one of many states with a stand your ground law in place. Again, this law states that individuals don’t have to retreat before using force in a self-defense case. They can take this stance as long as they’re not breaking the law or trespassing.
However, you still need to exercise caution, as using deadly force is only acceptable if you reasonably believe it’s necessary to prevent death or a severe injury. This applies to domestic violence situations as well as to situations where you’re attacked in public with a weapon.
The Castle Doctrine
The Castle Doctrine is another aspect of Tennessee’s self-defense laws. The legislation provides protection for Tennesseans defending their homes, vehicles, or places of business from unlawful entry or attempted unlawful entry.
Under this doctrine, your fear is presumed to be reasonable if the intruder unlawfully and forcibly entered your residence, business, or vehicle. This doesn’t mean that deadly force is automatically justified, but the State would have the burden of proving your fear was not reasonable.
Potential Legal Consequences
Defending yourself is a right under Tennessee law, but that right comes with limitations. It’s important to remember to use reasonable force. You also should review the state’s self-defense laws to prevent possible legal ramifications.
Contact a Davidson County Criminal Defense Lawyer If You Have Questions About Self-Defense
If you have been involved in an altercation where you used force to defend yourself, you should consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney. Doing so will ensure that your rights are protected and that you’re treated fairly. Contact Raybin & Weissman, P.C, to get your questions answered today.