Can You Use Justifiable Force as a Defense in Your Criminal Case?
When your actions have caused death or bodily harm to another, you may be faced with criminal charges. What happens, though, when your actions were in self-defense, or done to protect your home or a loved one? Is this still a criminal matter, or can you use justifiable force as a viable defense in your case? The answer to this depends on the situation. However, the following information can help you understand the basics of justifiable force in Illinois.
When Might Justifiable Force Apply?
Justifiable force cannot be used for every circumstance or every case. To effectively exercise this defense, you must have been defending yourself or another person from an unlawful act (i.e. sexual assault, battery, murder) or from death or bodily harm. Alternatively, you may be able use justifiable force in a situation where you were protecting your own property or a family member’s property from a break-in, attack, or other unlawful act. Still, this is not a blanket defense. There are other nuances to justifiable force that you must be aware of before trying to use it in your case.
Justifiable Force Versus Stand Your Ground
In Illinois, those who are protecting themselves, loved ones, or their home may be able to use self-defense as a justification for any actions that led to the injury or death or another. It is important to note, however, that the “justifiable force” law in Illinois is more restrictive than the infamous “stand your ground” law in Florida and other states. You cannot be the aggressor, and the level of force must be deemed proportionate to the threat you reasonably believed you were facing. So, if you had reasonable cause to believe that death was a threat, and the only way to prevent your own death or the death of a loved one was to use deadly force, you may be able to claim justifiable cause in your case.
Using the Best Possible Defense in Your Case
Every criminal case is unique, and laws may apply differently in each situation. As such, it is critical that anyone facing criminal charges seek skilled and experienced legal assistance with his or her case. This can help to ensure the legal defense used is strategically set to work with the specific details of the situation.
Our knowledgeable DuPage County criminal defense lawyers have the skills and experience needed to effectively represent you in your criminal charges case. In every situation, we pursue the most favorable outcome possible, and we will always aggressively protect your rights. Get the legal assistance you deserve. Call (630) 580-6373 and schedule your consultation with us today.