Does Arizona Have a “Make My Day” Law?
Most states have some kind of legislation that protects people who are defending themselves and their property from being liable for an assault or murder charge, and Arizona is no exception. The premise of Arizona’s “castle doctrine” (or “stand your ground law” as it is sometimes called) is that if you are being directly threatened, or someone is attempting to break into your home, you should be allowed to take reasonable measures to protect yourself and others, even if this requires you to use violence or deadly force.
When Self-Defense Cannot be Proved
Making sure you are aware of how the law works in your state can save you from serving time in prison. In a recent article, AZ Central points out that you cannot provoke someone into attacking you, and then claim it was self-defense when you hurt or kill him or her.
Another unfortunate feature of this law is that it does not apply to resisting arrest by a police officer, even if the arrest is unlawful. Police enjoy certain rights and protections that normal citizens do not, and they can typically turn even a genuine case of self-defense against you.
How to Claim Self-Defense in Arizona
The key to staying within the bounds of the legal use of force is to provide the courts with evidence that you were indeed acting only in self-defense. Even if you can provide only a little bit of evidence, the court then must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were not acting in self-defense if it wishes to proceed with any charges against you.
Contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Arizona for more information about “stand your ground” laws, Arizona’s “castle doctrine”, or any self-defense-related cases.
*This article is purely informative in nature and is not a form of legal advice.