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When can you claim self-defense?

Being charged with any kind of crime in South Carolina can have serious consequences and violent crimes are no exception. Whether you have been accused of assault, battery or even murder, authorities recognize the importance of identifying the truth behind the incident. If you injured the alleged victim, you may worry that there is no chance of avoiding conviction, but this may not be the case.

There are many reasons that you may have needed to physically threaten or even injure another person, if those actions were in defense of yourself or another. However, you will still need to demonstrate that you used reasonable force in your defense. For example, pushing someone away so you can escape may be acceptable, whereas continuing to use force when they can no longer cause harm may not be.

As this article on self-defense explains, another key factor is whether it was reasonable for you to assume that you were at risk of harm. So while you may have been mistaken in your assumption that the person you defended yourself against intended to hurt you, you may still be able to claim self-defense. However, you need to show that you perceived imminent danger and that it was a reasonable deduction to make.

These cases are rarely straightforward, so you may benefit from the support of an attorney. He or she can explain the charges against you and may be able to assist you in ensuring that your side of the story is heard by the court. With the right guidance, you may be able to protect your good name and avoid conviction.