In North Carolina you are entitled to use self-defense if the situation warrants it. It would seem like it should be rather simple in that if someone attacks you then you should have the right to do what you must to protect yourself. Self-defense laws are actually a bit more complex than that and certain evidence must be shown in order to use self-defense as a defense to a charge.
In North Carolina in order to use deadly force as a means of self-defense there must be an imminent threat of death or bodily harm. In State v. Norman, 324 N.C. 253 (1989) the use of deadly force as a means of self-defense has been defined as “the necessity, real or reasonably apparent, of killing an unlawful aggressor to save oneself from imminent death or great bodily harm.” Essentially in order to use deadly force against an aggressor the threat that you may be killed or seriously injured must be present at the moment of the attack.
Of course self-defense is not limited to only situations in which deadly force is required. If someone is in a situation in which they are being attacked he or she may use whatever force is reasonable necessary to stop the attack. However in order to use self-defense as a defense the person claiming self-defense cannot be the aggressor in the altercation. In other words if someone is in a mutual fight they started and are getting the short end of the stick, he or she may not be entitled to use self-defense as a defense.
Self-defense law is a complicated section of the law. If you have been charged with a crime and believe you were acting in self-defense it is important to contact an attorney who is familiar with the law. Our attorneys have experience and knowledge of the law in North Carolina and will work tirelessly to defend your case. Contact one of our attorneys directly by calling 704-499-9000 or toll free 877-374-5999. You will be glad you did. Don’t worry. We are here to help. Visit our main page here.