How is the State’s Self-Defense Doctrine Applied in New York Courts

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One of the most common defenses criminal NYC lawyers see every year is self-defense cases. When people are put in a situation where they feel they have to defend themselves, their family or their property, assaulting or even committing murder against the third party may happen. However, claiming self-defense is not as straightforward as many people think, especially if a death is involved. When a defense is raised in these cases, the prosecutor is obligated to disprove it beyond a reasonable doubt. Working with an experienced criminal attorney is critical for a fair trial and a favorable outcome in your self-defense case.

Rules Of New York’s Self-Defense Doctrine

Section 35.10 of the New York Laws states that using force against a third party who otherwise may commit a crime is not criminal and is justifiable if the person uses physical force upon them in self-defense or the defense of others. There are some tricky aspects that NYC lawyers have to sort through since most self-defense cases are not clear-cut. For example, a person may not make a self-defense claim if they began the confrontation, unless they began it, withdrew from it and the other party continues the attack. Another example is if the person provoked the third party into attacking them, in which case self-defense cannot be claimed. Situations like these often come down to witness testimony and the top law firms in NYC having to do an extensive investigation to determine the facts.

Using Deadly Force To Defend Yourself

In most situations, NYC lawyers can’t help much if deadly force is used since it cannot be used even in a self-defense case. There are, however, a couple of exceptions to the rules of deadly force. One is if the person claiming self-defense believed the third party was about to engage in deadly force against them. The other is if the person claiming self-defense believes the third party is attempting robbery, kidnapping, forcible sex acts or rape. But if the person can safely retreat if they are in a situation where deadly force is possible, then they may not have a solid case of claiming self-defense. The exception to this rule is if the person is in their own home.

What To Do If You’ve Been Arrested For Defending Yourself Or Your Property

Self-defense is one of the most complex defenses the top law firms in NYC work on. There will always be the he-said-she-said statements made by both parties that make it difficult for the courts to determine where the charges should be placed. Having the top criminal attorney in New York on your side can help since they will present the facts as they are on the surface and argue them on your behalf. The best thing to do if you’ve been arrested for what you believe was self-defense is to contact a criminal attorney in New York immediately.

Gordon & Gordon uses every resource available to them to reduce the charges against clients or even have the charges dropped completely. Our experienced criminal defense team will dive deeply into the facts of your case and fight with you until justice is served. If you’ve been charged for defending yourself or your property, contact us today to schedule a consultation to review your case.