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When is force self-defense?

On Behalf of | Jul 23, 2020 | Criminal Law |

Self-defense is a proper way to defend yourself against charges of murder or assault in court. However, it is imperative that you understand the laws about using force because they are quite specific in what circumstances must be present in a situation to justify using deadly force against another person.

According to the Montana Code, there are several situations in which you can use deadly force in self-defense. When looking at self-defense, there are different rules depending on what you are defending.

Defending yourself or another person

In the defense of yourself or another person, you have the right to use force when there is a threat against you that you think could cause serious harm or death. You can only do this if you see no other option for avoiding the threat.

Defending property

If someone is trying to break into your home and you believe that person causes a threat of injury or death to you or anyone else in the home, then you have the right to use force against him or her. Keep in mind that the person must be trying to break into your home illegally and you have to believe he or she will harm you or the other occupants. Also, you have to believe that this use of force is the only thing that will stop the person’s actions.

These same rules apply to defending yourself in any situation where someone may try to steal your property even if it does not involve your home. For example, if you are trying to prevent someone from stealing your vehicle, then you would have the right to use self-defense as long as you felt threatened and saw no other option.