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What is Montana’s self-defense law?

On Behalf of | Aug 12, 2019 | Criminal Law |

When someone threatens you, your family or your home in Montana, your reaction is likely to protect yourself in any way you can. When things wind down, though, will you face criminal charges if you hurt the person who was threatening you? What exactly is the law on self-defense? Each state has very different laws, so you have to find out what it is in this state specifically.

According to KMMS, self-defense laws in the state are a bit murky. It is not always clear what your rights are because the law leaves the burden of proof up to you. While it says that you can use deadly force to protect your home if you feel the other person will use deadly force against you, you must prove in court that was the situation. If you cannot, then you could face criminal charges and go to jail.

Defending yourself in the moment may seem like the reasonable thing to do, but once the situation gets picked apart in court, it may appear another way to a judge or jury. You have to make sure any use of force, especially deadly force, is justifiable. This can be tough to do in the heat of the moment when you are working off adrenaline and fear.

So, the bottom line is the state’s self-defense laws are not as clear as some other states. They leave a lot of room for interpretation. Furthermore, they also leave the door wide open for you to face criminal charges just for trying to protect yourself. This information is for education and is not legal advice.