Residents have a right to defend themselves and their property. The ability to protect and defend your home has been in the news over the last decade. More and more states have enacted “stand your ground” laws to clarify your rights and provide guidance for how and when it is legal to use force to protect yourself. At least half the states have such a law on the books. North Carolina has had a “stand your ground” law in place since 2011. An experienced North Carolina criminal defense attorney will answer your questions and defend against your charges.
What Does it Mean to Stand Your Ground?
Nobody wants to face prosecution for a serious criminal charge because they hurt someone in the process of defending their property. Stand your ground laws justify the use of deadly force if you are under imminent threat of harm. If you use deadly force in certain situations of protection, you will not be prosecuted for a crime. Stand your ground laws are most commonly used in situations where someone is breaking into your home by force or with the use of a weapon. You can protect yourself by using force, including using a weapon if necessary.
Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “Should I talk to the police?”
North Carolina Stand Your Ground Law
North Carolina General Statute 14-51.3 addresses “use of force in defense of a person” and establishes “relief from criminal or civil liability.” A person can use force against another when the person believes that it is necessary to protect themselves against the unlawful force being used. You can use deadly force only in situations where you believe the force is necessary to defend against potentially deadly harm. If you have lawfully used your right to stand your ground, the law prevents you from criminal charges and civil lawsuits. The stand your ground law applies to you when you are in your home, in your vehicle, or at your workplace.
What is Self Defense?
Self defense means the use of force to defend or protect yourself in situations where you are in danger of bodily harm. You may have used force to defend yourself and were subsequently charged with a crime. Self defense is an affirmative defense against some types of crimes. An affirmative defense means that you admit that you committed an act but did so for a reason. In order to assert self defense you must not have been the aggressor and must not have continued to use force once the other person retreated. You must have had the intent to protect yourself and not harm someone else.
Stand your ground and self-defense claims can be extremely complex. The first thing to do if you are charged with a crime is to seek legal guidance. Do not make any statements to law enforcement until you consult with your criminal defense attorney. Remember that you have the right to remain silent because what you say could be used against you. Your attorney will review the situation and help you vigorously defend the charges. Contact our skilled criminal defense attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, at (704) 370-2828 for a consultation.
The criminal defense attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC make it their mission to zealously defend their clients on a wide range of criminal matters at both the state and federal levels. These matters may include any charge from traffic offenses; DWI/DUI; drug charges (from simple possession to possession with intent to distribute and trafficking); gun permit denials; weapons offenses; and property crimes (larceny, breaking and entering, robbery, fraud, embezzlement, white collar offenses); to sexually related offenses (indecent exposure; sexual assault, crimes against nature, removal from sex offender registry); and violent crimes (domestic violence; assault; manslaughter; homicide, murder). Other legal issues that Arnold & Smith, PLLC criminal clients may be facing include restraining orders, restraining order and probation violations, expungements; appeals; and immigration issues related to criminal charges. Our criminal defense attorneys are passionate about ensuring that individuals empower themselves by being informed about their constitutional rights, and stand at the ready to fight in the defense of those facing criminal charges.
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