Self-defense might be a part of the defense strategy for a Bowling Green, Kentucky, resident facing assault charges. State law authorizes the use of physical force upon another person if the following circumstances exist:
- The use of physical force is necessary for the user’s protection or for the protection of another individual; and
- The person claiming self-defense was responding to unlawful physical force that was being used or that was imminent.
The circumstances under which a person may employ physical force against an attacker also apply to the use of deadly physical force. Deadly physical force may be employed to fight off an attacker if the person using it believes that deadly force is required to defend against serious physical injury, death, kidnapping or other violent criminal acts.
Amendments to Kentucky self-defense laws benefit individuals facing a criminal charge filed by prosecutors stemming from the use of physical force or deadly physical force against an attack. The criminal defense of self-defense no longer requires that the person tried to retreat from the encounter before resorting to the use of deadly physical force against an attacker.
Criminal defense attorneys may use self-defense to fight a criminal charge where there has been a history of domestic assault and abuse inflicted upon the individual charged with using physical force or deadly physical force. State law allows for the introduction of evidence of prior assault or abusive conduct committed against the defendant as justifying the use of self-defense.
Someone who uses self-defense against an attacker should consult with an attorney as soon after the incident as possible. Under the appropriate circumstances, an attorney presenting evidence to police and prosecutors to support the use of physical force or deadly physical force might avoid the filing of a criminal charge, or at least be able to prepare a legal defense based on self-defense.