General Question

micchon's avatar

What if I killed an attacker in self-defense?

Asked by micchon (391points) June 9th, 2015

If, for example, I’m walking on my way home at night and a guy jumped on me and tried to hurt/kill me and I used self-defense but I killed him, what might happen?

What might happen if…

1) ...he hurt me (armed/unarmed) and I defended myself and I killed him?

2) ...he didn’t hurt me, he just tried to, and I defended myself and I killed him, what might happen to me?

3) ...I killed him and I never had the intention to kill a person, but I accidentally did because I’m defending myself?

And what do you suggest to do if something like this happened?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

15 Answers

kritiper's avatar

Good for you! Better to kill them and not have to face them in court or provide recovery therapy.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

If they came after you you have every right to defend yourself. Just wait for law enforcement to come and don’t run. Running away makes it look like you had something to hide.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Hopefully there is a witness that can say what happened,but if not tell the police exactly what happened and you had no choice,and don’t change your story it makes them think you are trying to hide something.

Lightlyseared's avatar

You are entitled to use reasonable force to defend yourself from imminent harm. The greater the potential harm the greater the force that would be considered reasonable.

Where lethal force is involved you must reasonably believe that the attacker posed an imminent threat to your life or to the life of someone else. The threat of life altering injuries such as sever brain damage or the like could also probably used to justify lethal force.

zenvelo's avatar

In all three scenarios, the investigation and the process are the same. The only difference is that in I and not 2, you can show your injury to support your claim of self defense.

The only time you cannot defend yourself is when it is a policeman. They can kill you pretty much with impunity.

jca's avatar

The laws vary from state to state. It’s impossible to say, based on a hypothetical situation with few details. This is why people consult lawyers who have passed the bar for their state. A lawyer would sit down with the person and ask very detailed questions about what happened when the incident occurred. Who, what, why, when, how, etc. If it goes to court, as you know, the outcome may not be predictable. We could speculate all we want here but with vague details and laws varying from state to state, our speculation does not matter much.

Darth_Algar's avatar

In every state and (I’m assuming) most countries you have every right to defend yourself, with lethal force if necessary. However what constitutes a necessary use of force can be very much open to interpretation.

Judi's avatar

My answer would depend on whether or not you called the authorities or just ran. The result would also depend on the prosecutor believing your story.

janbb's avatar

The question is so hypothetical it’s impossible to answer. It would vary so much from state to state and credibility that there is no way to say. Look at the Trayvon Martin case where no one really knows what happened – but that’s Florida and “Stand your Ground” where everything is “legal” if the system bends your way.

josie's avatar

You won’t feel good about it, but if it was him or you, what other reasonable choice is there.

Blondesjon's avatar

The Penguin beat me to it.

Just move to Florida and you don’t even need a legitimate reason, just a Florida educated jury.

Buttonstc's avatar

Well, there’s the old saying favored by gun owners: “Better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6 ” (pallbearers).

If you’re the one dead as a result of the encounter, that’s the end of the conversation. If you truly feel your life is in jeopardy, then you do whatever is necessary to defend yourself.

And then be sure to get the best lawyer you possibly can.

jca's avatar

A good example is Robert Durst and what occurred in Texas. He admitted to killing his neighbor and chopping him up and putting him in garbage bags and throwing the bags in the ocean. He did not do any jail time because the laws in Texas are such that it was deemed self defense. It’s an amazing story and it can be seen on the HBO documentary about him, but when you learn the details it really hardly seems like true self defense.

zenvelo's avatar

@jca The Durst case isn’t about a self defense argument as much as it is a matter of money lets you get away with murder.

kritiper's avatar

SOP is that you will be arrested and tried for manslaughter. (3rd degree murder.) If you indeed acted in self defense, you will be set free.

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther