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Can you use violence to defend yourself in Montana?

On Behalf of | Aug 23, 2022 | Criminal Law |

You’ve always been a law-abiding citizen and have had no previous run-ins with the police. Violence is the last thing on your mind. Unfortunately, you come under attack one day and have to use force to defend yourself. You’re shocked to find out that law enforcement is pursuing charges against you.

Aren’t you entitled to defend yourself when under threat? What does the law in Montana say on this issue?

The force must be necessary and proportionate

If someone says they are going to punch you and do not go through with it, then it would not be justified for you to hit them preemptively. Additionally, if you were pushed lightly by a much smaller person and rescinded by using a deadly weapon, this would be disproportionate.

What if you can get away?

Sometimes, there may be an option for you to remove yourself from a dangerous situation. It’s really not easy knowing what to do for the best, as running away might place you in more danger in certain circumstances. In Montana, there is no legal duty on you to retreat. You are entitled to stand your ground and defend yourself from imminent threats using a reasonable amount of force.

Virtually every violent scenario is different which means special consideration will need to be given to each case of self-defense. Having legal guidance on your side will ensure that the best possible argument is put forward. After all, why should you be punished for legitimately trying to defend your life?