It all happened so fast. You were scared that an argument might come to blows, and pretty soon the fists actually started flying. It’s not your fault — you didn’t ask for the fight — and yet, you’re still facing the possibility of jail time, a criminal record and damage to your professional reputation. It’s unfair, and it’s all because somebody else came after you or your loved ones.

When you’re accused of assault or battery in Alabama, showing that you acted in self-defense or to protect others could be your best legal defense.

Using reasonable force

To prove you acted in self-defense, generally, you must show that your opponent threatened you with unlawful harm or force, that you felt genuine fear of harm, that you didn’t provoke them and that you had no reasonable opportunity to escape the circumstances. You must also prove you used a reasonable amount of force appropriate to the threat you faced from your attacker. Sometimes, even death can be considered a reasonable amount of force.

On the other hand, if your opponent was significantly smaller, younger or unarmed and stood little chance against you, that might seriously hurt your odds of successfully arguing self-defense was necessary.

Likewise, the rules are similar for if you acted in defense of others. You must have honestly had good reason to believe the person you acted to protect was in danger and you used appropriate force to try and stop that attacker. If the opponent illegally invaded your home, you could also make the claim that you defended your property.

Fighting on your behalf

A legal defense can be an extremely complicated manner, and you can have a lot at stake. It’s important you get an Alabama defense attorney you can trust, who has plenty of experience serving in Alabama. A skilled attorney can see that you get the fairest treatment possible under the law.