Self-Defense Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Self-Defense, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Self-Defense?

(n) Self defense is the action by which a person protects himself from any bodily harm arising out of an encounters or attacks from other person either by protecting him or by blocking the opponents advancement by a counter attack. Self defense is not a crime so accused may be tempted to show their action as self defense to escape punishment

History and Definition of Self-Defense

Self-defense is a legal term for an action that a person takes in order to protect one's own life or physical well-being from harm. In the history of law, self-defense has been an accepted concept for centuries and is a recognized right in many countries.

Self-defense is generally accepted as being reasonable and necessary when one is threatened with bodily harm. A person is entitled to defend himself or herself with reasonable force against an attacker or an assailant who is threatening physical harm. Self-defense can be used as a legal defense in criminal trials, but it must be proven that the accused acted reasonably and was not the aggressor in the situation.

Examples of Self-Defense

  1. If someone tries to attack you on a dark street and you punch them in the face in order to get away, that could be considered self-defense.

  2. If you are being held at gunpoint and you grab the gun and push the attacker away, that could be considered self-defense.

  3. If someone breaks into your house and threatens your family, and you shoot them to protect your family, that could be considered a form of self-defense.

Legal Terms Similar to Self-Defense

  1. Defense of others: The use of force to protect another person who is being attacked or threatened.

  2. Defense of property: The use of force to protect one's property from theft or damage.

  3. Stand your ground: A legal principle that allows a person to use deadly force in self-defense without attempting to retreat or escape from the situation.