No one wants to be there. But, unfortunately, it does happen--in fact, it happens every day.
Every day men and women are forced to defend themselves in dangerous situations.
But, do you know what your rights are if you're forced to protect yourself in a violent situation? Keep watching for a closer look at Louisiana self defense laws and how you can legally defend yourself in the state.
Self defense is the use of force to defend yourself.
It's a tricky subject that's often misinterpreted. But, when self defense is misunderstood, it can land you in a lot of trouble with the law.
While the definition of self defense remains the same, different states have different interpretations of what constitutes self defense. So it's important to understand how your state defines the act and how the legal system in your area has treated self defense cases in the past.
Thankfully, in Louisiana, we do have a right to defend ourselves and our property in a violent situation. If you end up in the unfortunate situation of actually protecting yourself, you do have the right to do so in certain circumstances.
But what does Louisiana law actually say about self defense?
According to state law, using lethal force is justifiable, "When committed in self-defense by one who reasonably believes that he is in imminent danger of losing his life or receiving great bodily harm and that the killing is necessary to save himself from that danger."
It's also permissible to defend yourself if you believe that you, or someone else, is in danger of being caused "great bodily harm" in your home or vehicle.
The state of Louisiana also does not require you to retreat before defending yourself. Sometimes referred to as the "Stand Your Ground Law", this section of the legal code allows individuals to defend themselves where they are with "no duty to retreat" before using force against an attacker.
Another important part of Louisiana's self defense laws is that a person cannot be sued or civilly prosecuted for their use of force against an attacker if their use of force was in the name of self defense.
While self defense is sometimes the only option, it's important to understand that you may still be arrested or undergo a criminal investigation.
Even if it seems obvious to you that no crime was committed on your part and you were well within your rights as a Louisiana resident to defend yourself, it may not be clear to the authorities.
Always try to defuse or escape from a potentially violent situation if you can and let law enforcement handle it. But, if you’re forced to defend yourself, be sure to cooperate with the authorities.
If you've been involved in a self defense situation, it's in your best interest to seek legal advice immediately. Contact our Louisiana criminal defense attorneys at 225-964-6720.
H. Taylor - Baton Rouge, Louisiana