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Self-Defense and When Force is NOT Justified in Indiana |

Cases that involve self-defense are some of our favorites here at the Marc Lopez Law Firm. Not only is the right to self-defense written into the Indiana Code, it can also be a valuable tool for a person facing battery charges.

The Fundamentals of a Self-Defense Claim

In order to assert a successful self-defense claim, you must have:

  • been in a place you had a right to be when the altercation occurred;
  • not instigated the violence; and
  • acted in a reasonable manner.

If you can show these three things, then you were almost certainly within your rights in defending yourself, your property, or another person.

When Force Is Not Justified

The State of Indiana encourages self-defense, but there are still some scenarios where physical force is prohibited.

You are not allowed to escalate the level of violence.

  • This means you’re only justified in using the same level of force that’s being directed at you or someone else.
  • You can’t introduce a weapon into a shoving match and call it self-defense.

You are not allowed to continue using force when the other party is withdrawing or retreating.

  • If you’re in the process of defending yourself, and the other party ceases their attack—congratulations! You’re a hero!
  • If you keep going after the other person when they’re trying to retreat, you’re taking things too far, and you’re no longer engaged in self-defense.

You are not allowed to use force in the commission of a crime.

  • If you’re committing a crime or fleeing the commission of a crime, you’re not justified in defending yourself.
  • A person engaged in criminal activity does not have the legal right to defend themselves.

Make the Right Call

If you’re facing battery charges and think self-defense might be an issue, you owe it to yourself to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney. Give us a call at 317-632-3642 and remember—always plead the 5th!