Is It Self-Defense?

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Feb 20

Lewis & Laws

Is It Self-Defense?

by Lewis & Laws

If you're reading this, chances are you or a loved one might be facing charges for a crime that you believe was an act of self-defense. It is natural to feel confused and afraid of going through the criminal justice system, especially if you acted in self-defense. Will they believe you? Will they understand? 

After being arrested for a crime in Washington State, it's essential to remember that you're not alone, and there may be legal defenses available to you. Our Seattle criminal defense lawyers can help you through this difficult time. 

What is Self Defense in Washington?

In Washington State, self-defense laws protect individuals who have used force to defend themselves, their loved ones, or their property under certain circumstances. 

Under Washington law, self-defense is recognized as a legitimate defense to certain criminal charges, including assault or homicide. However, for this defense to be considered valid, the force used must be reasonable and necessary under your circumstances.

- Reasonableness: The concept of reasonableness is central to self-defense claims. It means that your perception of and response to the threat must be what any reasonable person would have done in the same situation. This includes believing that the threat was immediate and fearing that you or someone else was in danger of harm.

- Necessity: The law also requires that the use of force must have been necessary to avert the threat. This means there was no reasonable opportunity to escape, avoid, or otherwise prevent the harm without resorting to force.

The Importance of Proving Self-Defense

If you argue that you acted in self-defense, this will shift the focus of your legal defense. Your attorney must demonstrate that you acted out of necessity and with actual fear for your safety or the safety of others. It's a defense that hinges on convincingly arguing that any reasonable person in your shoes would have acted similarly.

Evidence such as eyewitness accounts, physical injuries, and other relevant information can be pivotal in supporting your claim.

- Eyewitness Accounts: Testimonies from individuals who witnessed the incident can be incredibly powerful. These accounts provide an external perspective on your perceived threat and response. They can confirm the nature of the threat and validate your fear and the necessity of your actions.

- Physical Injuries: Documented injuries sustained during the incident are tangible proof of the encounter and the threat level you faced. This evidence can be critical in demonstrating the severity of the attack against you and, by extension, the justification for your response.

- Other Relevant Information: This can include a wide range of evidence, from video footage of the incident to previous reports of threatening behavior by the other party. Any information substantiating your claim of self-defense and illustrating the context of your actions is valuable. It's about creating a comprehensive picture that leaves little doubt about the necessity and reasonableness of your response.

You Need a Strong Legal Team On Your Side

Washington's self-defense laws are complex, and you need a legal team on your side with experience handling these types of cases. A Seattle criminal defense lawyer does more than just represent you in court. They manage your case and its defense strategy, ensuring that every piece of evidence is meticulously examined and every legal avenue explored. This includes gathering crucial evidence, such as surveillance footage or eyewitness statements, supporting your self-defense claim.

One of the most vital roles of your attorney is to ensure that your side of the story is compellingly presented. This involves not just laying out the facts but doing so in a coherent and persuasive way. Your attorney will articulate the circumstances that led to your actions, highlighting the necessity and reasonableness of your response to the perceived threat.

Contact Our Seattle Criminal Defense Lawyers

Remember, if you acted to protect yourself, your loved ones, or your property, you might have options under the law for defending your actions. The path ahead may seem scary, but you don't have to walk it alone. Our Seattle criminal defense attorneys can offer guidance, support, and the advocacy you need during this challenging time.

At Lewis & Laws, we offer aggressive legal assistance to Seattle, Bellevue, Everett, and Washington State individuals. Contact us today to explore your legal options. Protect your future and call us today!

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