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LLLEARNER
Brown Belt
Brown Belt

Joined: 10 Feb 2016
Posts: 687
Location: Central Maine

PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2016 10:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sensei8 wrote:
Yes, laws may seem far fetch, but they are the law of YOUR land, and they must be enforced by those who's job it is to enforce. In the USA, if you've a chance to get away, and you choose not to, then you're as guilty as the thug who attacked you.

Defend yourself, but that thin, and often invisible line, mustn't be crossed because we can't take the law into our own hands. Having said that, the "heat of the moment" isn't a defense in the courts, yet, I will do whatever I must do to protect my family and myself. After that, the courts can decide if I was within my constitutional right to do whatever it is that I'm accused of.

I do not hit, "it" hits by itself!!




It depends. In your home you may not have a duty to retreat.

Separate from that ...

When there is a duty to retreat you only have to retreat as far as is practical. This could be environmental (dead end) reasons, or if your retreat puts someone else between you and the attacker.
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"Walk a single path, becoming neither cocky with victory nor broken with defeat, without forgetting caution when all is quiet or becoming frightened when danger threatens." ~ Jigaro Kano
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Spartacus Maximus
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 01 Jun 2014
Posts: 1714

Styles: Shorin ryu

PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2016 11:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is the details of the law which depend on where one lives, and then there is good old common sense, and following that is the best advice anywhere. It may not guarantee that there will be no legal trouble and aggravation for the "defender", but following common sense minimizes the possibility of ending up on the wrong side of the law.

Home is the last possible place to where one can retreat. If attacked there, the first priority as dictated by common sense is to protect oneself and family if applicable. The second is using whatever is necessary to force the intruder to retreat outside and off one's property. Once there "defense" is over and any additional force beyond that point will not be seen favourably by the

In other situations, the goal is escape from the threat at all costs. It is very difficult to pin an assault charge on someone who is seen as running away or struggling to break away from an attack.
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andrewbranca
White Belt
White Belt

Joined: 06 May 2016
Posts: 5
Location: Concord MA
Styles: Shotokan karate

PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2016 8:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sensei8 wrote:
In the USA, if you've a chance to get away, and you choose not to, then you're as guilty as the thug who attacked you.


Well, in the US almost all cases of self-defense are handled at the state, not the Federal, level. We've got 50 different states and thus 50 different sets of laws (plus Washington DC, Guam, US Virgin Islands, etc.). As a result almost any statement about self-defense law generalized to the entire USA is going to be incorrect.

In fact, only 16 states impose a legal duty to retreat before you can use force in self-defense. The remaining 34 states do NOT. So, a duty to retreat only exists in a minority of states.

Even in the states that DO impose a legal duty to retreat, most of them impose this duty only before you can use deadly force in self-defense, and do not impose the duty to retreat if you limit yourself to non-deadly force.

Unfortunately, we've had more than a few martial artist clients who mistakenly believed that "deadly force" means only force that can actually kill someone, and that any lesser degree of force must therefore be mere non-deadly force. Sadly for their cases, the legal definition of deadly force is considerably broader than that.

If you've learned a martial art in part to make yourself hard to kill or maim or rape, it pays to know the use-of-force laws in your jurisdiction in order to make yourself hard to convict.
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Andrew F. Branca
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Nothing in this post constitutes legal advice, nor does it establish an attorney-client relationship or privilege.

If you are in need of legal advice, consult competent legal counsel in the relevant jurisdiction.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14323
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2016 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

andrewbranca wrote:
sensei8 wrote:
In the USA, if you've a chance to get away, and you choose not to, then you're as guilty as the thug who attacked you.


Well, in the US almost all cases of self-defense are handled at the state, not the Federal, level. We've got 50 different states and thus 50 different sets of laws (plus Washington DC, Guam, US Virgin Islands, etc.). As a result almost any statement about self-defense law generalized to the entire USA is going to be incorrect.

In fact, only 16 states impose a legal duty to retreat before you can use force in self-defense. The remaining 34 states do NOT. So, a duty to retreat only exists in a minority of states.

Even in the states that DO impose a legal duty to retreat, most of them impose this duty only before you can use deadly force in self-defense, and do not impose the duty to retreat if you limit yourself to non-deadly force.

Unfortunately, we've had more than a few martial artist clients who mistakenly believed that "deadly force" means only force that can actually kill someone, and that any lesser degree of force must therefore be mere non-deadly force. Sadly for their cases, the legal definition of deadly force is considerably broader than that.

If you've learned a martial art in part to make yourself hard to kill or maim or rape, it pays to know the use-of-force laws in your jurisdiction in order to make yourself hard to convict.

Solid post!!

I'd also add, that if there are 50 states in the USA that have differing laws, then one best stay in their state and not venture elsewhere. I'd like to think that these 50 states have a sense of normalcy in things like this.

Have a chance to leave and you don't, now who's guilty?!?!?!

I would think that a judge would pass sentence on me, as well as my attacker, and perhaps, even more so!!



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andrewbranca
White Belt
White Belt

Joined: 06 May 2016
Posts: 5
Location: Concord MA
Styles: Shotokan karate

PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2016 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sensei8 wrote:

Solid post!!


Thank you.

I should have made clear, that although only a minority of states impose a legal duty to retreat, we certainly advise all our clients that if they have a safe avenue of retreat they'd be a fool to not take advantage of that opportunity, even if they do happen to be in a "Stand-Your-Ground" state.

Unless, of course, you have a very good reason indeed why retreat is not feasible: no safe avenue of retreat exists, retreat would require leaving behind someone you have a duty to protect, you're mobility is limited relative to the aggressor, etc.

The best way for good guys to win fights is mostly to not have to fight in the first place. Be somewhere else.

For the most part, fighting is what happens when you've already screwed up all the superior options, like avoidance, retreat, de-escalation--most often because of lack of situational acuity resulting in ambush.

Stay safe. Be prepared. Know the law.

--Andrew
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Andrew F. Branca
Attorney at Law

Nothing in this post constitutes legal advice, nor does it establish an attorney-client relationship or privilege.

If you are in need of legal advice, consult competent legal counsel in the relevant jurisdiction.
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