In Ohio, am I within my right to defend myself using physical violence if an individual has made repeated verbal threats to do physical harm?

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In Ohio, am I within my right to defend myself using physical violence if an individual has made repeated verbal threats to do physical harm?

I was in a fight with my mothers boyfriend. He was angry about something petty
and was an inch away from my face shouting repeatedly about he’s going to inflict
physical harm upon me. I however made the first move in an attempt to subdue him.
On my mothers insistence I left her residence, after which the police were called
and an alleged warrant has been issued. I cannot afford a lawyer and wish to
simply know if I have any claim of self defense in this situation.

Asked on February 7, 2017 under Criminal Law, Ohio

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You may be able to claim self-defense to assault.
Assault does not require any physical contact.  Assault is intentionally placing another person in reasonable apprehension of an immediate battery.  Battery is the actual physical contact.
The verbal threats and threat of violence from your mother's boyfriend an inch from your face constitute assault because you were placed in reasonable apprehension of an immediate battery.  Therefore, you used reasonable non-deadly force to stop the assault and can assert that you acted in self-defense.


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