A conviction for a violent crime like murder or assault could have serious legal implications. If you are charged with a violent crime, it is in your best interest that you take action to defend yourself and avoid the harsh penalties that may come with a conviction.
Depending on the facts surrounding your case, one of the defense options you can consider when charged with a violent crime is self-defense. Generally, Tennessee’s self-defense doctrine can be broken down into the following components:
The alleged victim was committing a crime
Tennessee statute allows individuals to invoke a self-defense strategy when responding to illegal activity. For instance, you can claim self-defense if you use force to stop another person from robbing you. You can also claim self-defense if you use force to stop a perpetrator from hurting someone else. For instance, you can use proportionate force to stop an individual from committing rape.
You must have been somewhere legally
The law empowers you to stand your ground if you are at the right place at the right time. This can include your business premises, home, car or any other public place that you have the right to access. Thus, you may argue self-defense if you use force to fight off an intrusion or attack at any of these places.
There has to be a reasonable belief that you faced imminent danger
There has to be a reasonable belief that you are about to suffer bodily harm due to the victim’s actions. For instance, you may argue that the alleged victim was in the process of drawing their weapon or using excessive force against you and that this prompted you to act fast to safeguard your life or someone else’s. Additionally, the danger must be real and you must use proportionate force to counter it.
If you are charged with a violent crime like murder or any form of assault, you need to explore your defense options in order to safeguard your rights and interests.