It’s not always immediately clear.
That is a safely couched threshold answer to the above-posed headline query leading off today’s blog post.
Indeed, a self-defense-or-assault determination can often be a challenging and difficult call to make for law enforcers and juries. A physical altercation in its aftermath can often seem steeped in subjectivity and is invariably marked by contrasting stories of “what actually happened.”
Most Colorado readers of our criminal law blogs at Shazam Kianpour & Associates have likely seen the subject matter spotlighted in countless television shows and movies. One party says that he was violently attacked in a manner that was unwarranted and clearly qualified as a criminal assault. The other party says that he was merely responding in self-defense to threatening actions that reasonably made him fear for his life.
The bottom line in many cases where an individual claims self-defense stresses an imperative, namely, the need for timely and proven input from an experienced legal team. Notable complexity can attach in instances where a person claiming to have simply defended himself against a serious and imminent threat is accused of assault.
Many questions can arise that are immediately relevant in a self-defense case, including these:
- How serious was a perceived threat?
- How much force was used in response to a threat?
- Did counter action continue after a threat was neutralized?
- Were self-defense actions linked to minimizing bodily harm or undertaken to safeguard property?
We candidly underscore on our website that “it can be hard to know how much force to use” in a self-defense situation.
We welcome contacts to our firm from Colorado residents having questions or concerns related to a self-defense case or any other criminal law matter.