Legal Implications of Defense

  • Before you defend yourself, or others, there must be an apparent danger to you or your property, or that of another.
  • You can use deadly force only when a life is in danger.
  • You cannot use deadly force to defend your property.
  • Your retaliation maybe only as sufficient to stop your attacker. If you continue hitting once he/she is down, you become the aggressor.
  • You can use force similar to that used by an opponent.
  • While you should try to avoid violence whenever possible you do not have to retreat before protecting yourself.
  • You may attack in self-defense if an aggressive attack is imminent.
  • Words alone do not constitute cause for physical retaliation.
  • You may not carry a concealed weapon.
  • You may keep a weapon in your home.


Generally speaking, the legal concept of self-defense encompasses the principle that a non-aggressor can use a reasonable amount of force to resist what he or she reasonably believes to be an imminent and immediate danger of unlawful force.