Arizona Self-Defense Laws You Need To Know

Needing self-defense in a dangerous situation can be a frightening experience, especially when defending those who cannot protect themselves. Knowing how to protect yourself in these situations legally is important. By understanding Arizona self-defense laws, you'll be better prepared to respond if you're ever attacked or need to protect someone. You'll also know how to ensure your actions stay within your legal rights. Knowing what you can legally do can help you figure out the best way to keep yourself and others safe.

If you find yourself in a scenario where you've had to use physical or lethal force to defend yourself or someone else, you must contact an attorney immediately. When you hire our firm, you'll work with an attorney who is communicative, accessible, and determined to defend your rights. Our firm serves the areas of Tempe, Mesa, Scottsdale, Phoenix, and Chandler. If you are in need of an experienced criminal defense attorney in Arizona, please contact us today to schedule your free case evaluation.

Does Arizona Have a "Make My Day" Law?

In 1985, Colorado passed the groundbreaking "Make My Day" law, forming a legal framework that permits individuals to use lethal force in self-defense or when defending others nearby in immediate danger. This law marked a significant shift in how the legal system viewed using deadly force in self-defense. Colorado, Arizona, and 28 other states, along with Puerto Rico, have enacted similar self-defense laws.

Arizona self-defense laws typically allow for deadly force in certain circumstances where an individual is faced with an immediate threat. However, the details and extent of these self-defense laws can significantly vary from state to state. Some states, for instance, may not have regulations as expansive as Arizona's self-defense legislation.

Important Arizona Self-Defense Laws

Self-Defense Justification under A.R.S 13-404: This law justifies using physical force in self-defense anytime when necessary to yourself from an immediate illegal force. However, there are exceptions where using physical force is not justified:

  1. If the situation only involves verbal provocation, physical force is not justified.

  1. Self-defense is not justified if someone is resisting an arrest, whether lawful or unlawful, that they know is being made by a police officer or someone acting under the officer's orders. The only exception here is if the officer uses more force than allowed by law.

  1. Suppose someone has provoked another person into using or attempting unlawful physical force. In this case, they can only use force if they try to withdraw from the situation and communicate their intent but can't safely withdraw, and the other person continues to use unlawful physical force.

"Stand Your Ground" Law under A.R.S 13-405: This law explains the conditions under which a person can use deadly force in self-defense:

  1. A person can use deadly force in self-defense if they are justified in using physical force under A.R.S 13-404 and believe it is needed for protection from another's deadly force.

  1. A person can use deadly force in self-defense and isn't required to retreat if the person is legally present in the location and not involved in any illegal activity.

Arizona's Castle Doctrine "Castle Laws": Arizona's Castle Doctrine, under A.R.S §13-411, grants individuals the right to employ either reasonable or deadly force in self-defense against intruders if they're within their dwelling, business, or any place where they have legal permission to be. This applies to situations where the threat occurs within their home, on their property, or in any kind of vehicle.

What Should You Do If You're Wrongfully Charged?

Your first step in self-defense cases is to remain silent until you have legal representation, protecting yourself from self-incrimination. Despite having the right to self-defense, you can still be charged with crimes like manslaughter or second-degree murder, although a conviction isn't guaranteed. Every self-defense case hinges on proving an immediate threat, a reasonable fear, and an appropriate level of force used in response.

The second step is to contact a criminal defense attorney promptly. Your attorney will investigate the victim's background for past criminality or violence. The goal of a strong defense is to cast reasonable doubt in jurors' minds for acquittal. Your defense attorney will independently probe the state's evidence for weaknesses while strengthening your self-defense claim.

For a manslaughter conviction, the state must prove your recklessness and indifference to life, while for second-degree murder, they need to show intentional killing without premeditation or reckless behavior. Additionally, your attorney will work to uncover mitigating evidence overlooked by the state to bolster your defense further.

Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney in Phoenix, Arizona

If you have been wrongfully charged with a crime following a self-defense action, please contact Bala Legal Services. At Bala Legal Services, our team is dedicated to helping and representing you. You will have an experienced attorney who is approachable, accommodating, and affordable. 

Our firm serves the areas of Tempe, Mesa, Scottsdale, Phoenix, and Chandler. If you are in need of an experienced criminal defense attorney in Arizona, please contact us today to schedule your free case evaluation.

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Legal Disclaimer:

The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. Bala Legal Services team are licensed to practice law in Arizona. We invite you to contact us, but please be aware that contacting us does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until an attorney-client relationship has been established.

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