In most jurisdictions in the U.S., there are self-defense laws that allow an individual to defend themselves using force to protect themselves from an imminent threat of physical harm. However, self-defense is only justifiable under certain circumstances under the law. Therefore, if you have been charged with a criminal offense such as homicide, manslaughter, or some other form of assault, you may be able to claim self-defense. Keep reading to learn about South Carolina’s self-defense laws. In addition, contact an experienced Chesterfield Criminal Defense Lawyer who can protect your rights.
What is self-defense?
Self-defense provides an individual with the right to protect themselves from imminent physical harm. Essentially, a person has the right to use reasonable force, including deadly force, to safeguard themselves under certain circumstances. In most cases, killing someone or inflicting serious harm on another person would be considered a crime. However, self-defense laws provide individuals with justification for resorting to violence to protect themselves when they reasonably believe that they are in imminent danger of serious bodily harm or death.
What are stand-your-ground laws in South Carolina?
In some states, individuals have a duty to retreat when they have contributed in some manner to the altercation. This means they must take reasonable steps to de-escalate the situation to avoid confrontation. If this is not possible, they are then permitted to use force to protect themselves against this imminent threat. However, in South Carolina, individuals do not have a duty to retreat before using force in their homes due to the Castle doctrine. This doctrine rationalizes the idea that an individual’s home is their “castle,” and no one should have to retreat from their “castle.” South Carolina is one of the few states in the U.S. that has enacted a “stand-your-ground” law that allows an individual to employ deadly force to defend against an intruder in their home. Essentially, when an individual is not engaged in an unlawful activity and is in a place where they have a right to be, they have the right to use deadly force in self-defense. Deadly force is even permitted under these laws when force can be avoided by retreating or when non-lethal force suffices. It is critical to note that stand-your-ground laws do not apply when an individual is engaged in a crime or using their home to commit a crime. Furthermore, the same rights and limitations of self-defense apply when protecting a third party from an imminent threat.
If you are facing criminal charges for using force to protect yourself from an immediate threat of physical harm, you need a Chesterfield criminal defense lawyer on your side. With years of experience, Cockrell Law Firm, P.C. is prepared to aggressively defend you to protect your rights and interests. Our firm is committed to helping our clients avoid harsh penalties.