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Most people don’t think about ways in which someone could physically assault them on the day-to-day. They hear about it in the news but never believe that it could happen to them. Unfortunately, people are mostly unpredictable, and for that reason, it’s always good to understand how you can defend yourself if assaulted.

Self-defense seems like an easy concept to understand. If someone attacks you, you can do what you can to prevent injury to yourself. But reality can often be messier than first thought. What’s more, different states often have their own self-defense laws, meaning that being in the wrong place at the wrong time could be costly to you.

This article will explore the nuances of self-defense, and also explain ways in which you could protect yourself. However, even beyond the act of self-defense itself, there are often legal matters to contend with that can also be detrimental. So continue reading to learn what to expect in terms of the legal aspect of self-defense.

What you can do to protect yourself

Generally speaking, you can legally defend yourself if you fear that your life is at risk. For example, if a burglar breaks into your home, or if someone randomly assaults you in public, these are the most prominent cases where the court could deem self-defense as legal.

There are several ways in which someone can defend themselves. Most often, this comes in the form of martial arts, such as Taekwondo or Jiu-Jitsu. Most martial arts practices have plenty of offensive tactics but also contain numerous defensive strategies that can be used in the event you encounter an assailant out in public. Some techniques can even teach you to disarm someone who is wielding a weapon.

It is also possible to carry a weapon yourself that can be used in self-defense. Concealed carry laws determine how you may use a gun to defend your life, and include more specifically, the type of weapons and their attributes that you can legally carry. These laws vary state-by-state, and you should thoroughly research before deciding on this method of self-defense. In addition, bladed weapons such as small knives have their own category of laws as well.

Many people store weapons in their homes or cars in the case of a burglary. And there have been times where someone with a concealed carry permit has stopped someone in public from committing a horrible crime. Of course, before utilizing a weapon, it is required to train yourself on their use adequately. Understanding the risks associated with their use is just as important.

Another important variation of self-defense is defending someone other than yourself who may be in danger. Laws determining the protection of someone else are usually similar to individual self-defense laws and could vary state-to-state.

When self-defense doesn’t go in your favor

Historically, there have been countless instances where someone who had tried to defend themselves suddenly finds themselves in a legal battle proving their innocence. This is especially the case if there were no witnesses or if the other person claims no guilt. At worst, these cases can end in seemingly unfair convictions. At best, they can still cost a pretty penny in legal fees, as well as precious time.

As mentioned above, it is highly recommended to research self-defense laws in a given state thoroughly. Also, make sure you have a strong understanding of concealed carry laws, as incidents related to weapons are often the most contested in court. Even if everything was done legally on your end, the court costs, fees, and lawyers could often drain your wallet. Fortunately, it’s possible to acquire concealed carry insurance that can cover these costs.

Other situations where gray areas appear are domestic violence, burglaries, or self-defense actions that result in the death of the assailant, otherwise known as justifiable homicide. In any of these situations, it’s important to distinguish between an innate, fight-or-flight reaction to an assault or simply acting out of anger. And in the case of defending someone else you believe is in imminent danger, it’s possible to misread the situation and cause further problems.

Ultimately, it is best to avoid situations of violence. For instance, with domestic violence, always look to resources if you feel threatened at all in your relationship. It’s possible to detect early signs of domestic violence and prevent anything from escalating. Likewise, it’s important to take part in formal training in reading social situations before legally carrying a weapon. Opt for non-lethal forms of self-defense, such as pepper spray or defensive martial arts whenever possible.

Although these situations could be random, make sure you can provide ample subjective and objective evidence of the events leading up to the self-defense measures you are taking. Also, develop a sufficient understanding of state laws surrounding self-defense, and gain familiarity with the various self-defense tactics. Seek advice from legal professionals if you have additional questions about anything written in this article.