Fortunately, incidents such as violent attacks and home break-ins are fairly rare, but they do happen. Such events can be very frightening for those on the receiving end. It can be difficult to know what to do in these circumstances, and you may not have much time to think about it.
If someone sets out to cause you harm, are you entitled to defend yourself by using violence? Outlined below are some of the key principles of self-defense laws in North Carolina.
Standing your ground
In North Carolina, you have a legal right to stand your ground when certain requirements are met. You must have a reasonable belief that physical harm or deadly force is imminent. Crucially, the force used in self-defense must be proportionate to the immediate threat. So, if an individual shoved another person, and that person subsequently used a deadly weapon in return, this would not be proportionate to the threat in hand.
What if someone else is in danger?
Self-defense laws in North Carolina also apply to others who are facing an imminent threat of physical harm or deadly force. In these circumstances, you may be justified in using a proportionate amount of force to defend the person that is in trouble.
The specifics matter
Determining what is reasonable, imminent and proportionate is not easy. But if you’re facing criminal charges, this will be crucial to your case. Seeking legal guidance will help you to build a defense and assist you in avoiding unfair penalties merely for defending yourself, your property or another person.