What are the Limits of Self-Defense in South Carolina?

What are the Limits of Self-Defense in South Carolina?

Charlotte, NC Personal Injury Lawyer

A man defending a woman from a sexual assault has found himself charged with assault. Fifty-two year old William Mattson was involved in a sexual assault on a 21-year-old woman when Mattson’s nephew, 27-year-old Daniel Mattson, came to the woman’s defense. Daniel’s initial actions were in defense of the victim. But then police say Daniel went too far. He continued attacking William even after William no longer posed a danger to the woman. Daniel also hit the sexual assault victim for an unknown reason. Daniel now faces charges of assault and criminal domestic violence for his actions.

Defenses in Civil Cases for Criminal Actions

When an individual is injured by the criminal acts of another, the victim may pursue a civil case to recover compensation for the person’s injuries. A civil case can be filed regardless of whether criminal charges are filed. This is much like a criminal case, in which the accused can assert defenses such as self-defense. If successful, a claim of self-defense can not only result in an accused escaping criminal liability, but he or she may be able to escape civil liability as well.

Self-Defense in South Carolina

South Carolina is one of a few states that have enacted a “stand your ground” law that allows a person to use deadly force to defend oneself if (1) the person is in a place where he or she has a right to be; (2) the person is not engaged in an unlawful activity; and (3) the use of deadly force is necessary to prevent death, great bodily harm, or the commission of a violent crime.

Self-defense that involves less-than-lethal force can also allow an individual to escape criminal and civil liability. The key to the successful assertion of a self-defense claim is reasonableness. In other words, self-defense will allow an accused criminal or accused negligent defendant to escape from criminal or civil liability for his or her actions if the circumstances surrounding the use of self-defense made the use justifiable. A self-defense claim can also be used when the defendant was acting to protect someone other than him- or herself.

When Does Self-Defense Go Too Far?

Self-defense is only viable so long as you are being attacked; once the threat has been neutralized or the attacker stops, you generally cannot continue to “defend yourself” by attacking the assailant. If you do so, you may find yourself charged with a crime and/or facing a lawsuit.

Bice Law, LLC Can Make Sense of Self-Defense

The laws concerning self-defense can be complicated, but the experienced personal injury attorneys at Bice Law, LLC can help you make sense of South Carolina’s self-defense laws. Especially where someone has injured you or a loved one and has claimed he or she acted in self defense, the dedicated team at Bice Law, LLC can investigate the facts of the incident and help you recover the compensation you deserve. Contact them today at 877-BICE-877 today for a free consultation.

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