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When can people legally act in self-defense in Indiana?

On Behalf of | Feb 14, 2024 | Criminal Defense |

The law in Indiana restricts many different types of conduct. There are laws that apply to financial transactions and those that govern interpersonal relationships. For example, it is illegal for someone to attack or assault another person. There are also laws preventing one party from misappropriating the assets that belong to another.

Despite these rules, sometimes disagreements spiral out of control and lead to physical confrontations. Violence between people can fracture their relationships or sometimes lead to serious injuries. Either of the parties involved in an altercation or anyone who witnesses a violent incident could call the police to intervene.

People in Indiana sometimes get arrested based on accusations that they engaged in violence toward another person. Those accused of violent crimes sometimes claim that they acted in self-defense. When does the state of Indiana recognize the right of an individual to defend themselves with physical force?

The right to self-defense is a crucial natural right

Individuals across the United States can potentially use physical violence, including lethal force, to protect themselves from imminent criminal activity. According to Indiana state statutes, people have the right to defend themselves when another reasonable person might agree that the situation represents an immediate threat of harm.

Unlike some states, Indiana does not impose a duty to retreat. If someone is in a location that they can lawfully be, they don’t need to try to leave the situation before they use physical force to defend themselves. Both those legally in public places and those responding to acts of violence at their own residence can use physical force to defend themselves, other people or their property.

They could then respond to any criminal allegations they face with an assertion that they acted in self-defense. Self-defense claims often require that the defendant facing charges establish that they did not instigate the situation. Generally, they need to convince the courts that another reasonable person would also feel that the use of force was necessary given the circumstances.

A successful claim of self-defense could help someone avoid a criminal conviction that might otherwise lead to significant penalties and a potentially life-altering criminal record. Learning more about Indiana’s self-defense laws, and seeking legal guidance accordingly, may benefit someone who has been accused of breaking the law after they acted to protect themselves.

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