Can You Be Arrested for Self-Defense?

Our country’s laws allow us to protect ourselves. As part of your Constitutional right, you have the right to “security of person,” which means you have the right to protect yourself from harm, such as in instances of assault and battery, domestic violence or even destruction or theft of property. Unfortunately, a police officer may arrest you even if you did nothing wrong. Is self-defense really a violent crime? What happens when someone protects themselves from assault and then gets arrested?

In reality, no one is actually arrested for acting out of “self-defense.” Self-defense is not a crime, therefore you can’t be charged for it. However, police officers have a duty to arrest anyone suspected of committing a criminal violation. If police officers see two people fighting, both of them could be arrested for assault and battery, even if one person was acting in self-defense.

If you are arrested, it’s important to remain calm. If you reasonably believed that you were in imminent risk of death or serious injury, you have the absolute right to use force, including deadly force, to save yourself. Even if you are forced to stand trial, juries are generally sympathetic to those who try to defend themselves.

Also, refuse to make a statement. Each time you talk about what happened, you risk contradicting yourself. The police know this, and they look for ways to make it happen. Even if you say something that helps your case, it may be considered hearsay, and the officer may not be allowed to testify about it in court. If you say something damaging, however, your statement can be considered an admission of guilt.

The police are not responsible for protecting your rights. If you have been arrested for defending yourself, please contact our Boston criminal defense lawyer at Brad Bailey Law. Call (617) 500-0252 or contact us online today to learn more about your available defenses.

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