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Arguing for reasonable force.
Someone can successfully argue self defence if it’s clear they acted reasonably and in good faith. Therefore, if someone has done what they honestly felt was necessary in the heat of the moment, this is the best defence for them acting lawfully.
Anyone who’s arguing self defence must have only used force for:
- Self defence
- Defence of another
- Defence of a property
- Prevention of crime
- Assist a lawful arrest
When a prosecutor assesses whether the force used was reasonable, they will consider two things, which are:
- Was the force necessary considering the circumstances? I.e. was there any need for the force at all? For example, if someone shouted at you for being in the way, it’s not a necessary force for you to punch them in the face.
- Was the force used reasonable in the circumstances? For example, if someone shoves you and you stab them, this will likely be considered unreasonable.
These things are key when assessing your case.
Did you know?
A petition was created for the UK Government to make it legal to carry non-lethal self defence weapons. This petition closed on 10 September 2021 after only receiving 35,617 of the required 100,000 required signatures.