In the age of TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube, there are countless videos out there that raise some fundamental questions about self-defense. In the state of Indiana, there are two things that everybody should know about self-defense claims.

Number One: Imminent Threats

First things first—you don’t need to wait to be hit to defend yourself. If you reasonably believe that you’re threatened by the imminent use of unlawful force, you can act in self-defense.

The force you’re allowed to use must be reasonable in context. That is, you can’t respond to someone who’s swinging fists by pulling out a gun and shooting them to death. That is unreasonable, and it’s likely to be charged as murder.

Number Two: Defense of Others

The second point to remember is that self-defense can include the defense of other people. As long as you’re acting in good faith, you’re allowed to intervene with reasonable force.

All self-defense claims—whether you were defending yourself or someone else—have the following requirements:

  1. you must have acted without fault;
  2. you must have been in a place where you had the right to be; and
  3. you (or the person you were defending) must have been in reasonable fear or apprehension of bodily harm.

Make the Right Call

The law doesn’t say you have to take a punch before you can defend yourself. As long as your perceptions and behavior are reasonable, you’re allowed to act preemptively. If you have any questions about self-defense in Indiana, call the Marc Lopez Law Firm at 317-632-3642 and remember—always plead the 5th!