How to dispute domestic violence charges when self-defense was used?

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How to dispute domestic violence charges when self-defense was used?

Asked on September 7, 2015 under Criminal Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You are advised to retain an attorney to help you the lawyer will know how best to put forward self-defense as a defense. That said, the general procedure would be to plead not guilty and then bring up self-defense as a defense. For there to be self-defense
1 You must have been defending against an ongoing attack or facing an imminent--or immediate--credible threat, like someone waving a knife at you or pointing a gun at you. If you have previously been attacked and the attack was over, it's not self defense to strike back if there was anger and yelling but no credible physical threat, it's not self defense, either even if there was a previous pattern of violence, if there was no violence then it's not self defence.
2 The use of force must be relativel proporational or appropriate if someone shoves you, can shove or punch them, but generally not pull out a shotgun and shoot them. There are exceptions a small woman can often credibly claim that she needed a weapon to thwart an empty hand attack by a larger man, but a large man can't credibly claim that he needed a gun or knife to fend off an empty-hand attack by a small woman.
3 Your use of force must stop when the  threat stops i.e. if you hit them when they're down, that's no longer self defense.


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