The best defense to murder or assault is typically self-defense. Self-defense can occur in a number of circumstances, and is easily considered the best defense to make, especially when evidence exists that proves the accused committed the offense, such as the accused’s own admittance. An experienced Phoenix, AZ self defense attorney can help makes sense of your situation.
Self-Defense to Assault & Murder
Self-defense can only be used as a defense in narrowly tailored circumstances. Self-defense can be raised as a defense to murder if you yourself were threatened with murder from facts easily demonstrated. For example, if the victim threatened you with a deadly weapon in plain sight and you acted on his threats, then your self-defense can be seen to be justified. However, if the victim only made verbal threats and you heightened this by producing a deadly weapon, a court will typically not allow this level of self-defense. Self-defense in regards to aggravated assault works the same way as self-defense to murder charges, in that the defendant must believe he is in imminent danger from attack.
However, it is important to keep in mind that self-defense cannot be claimed if you, the accused, started the attack, unless:
- You withdrew from the situation and clearly communicated this to the other person; and
- The other person continues or attempts physical force against you
Additionally, self-defense cannot be used as a defense if the threat happened days or even hours ago. The threat must be immediate.