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What is Self Defense?

In Kentucky, self defense is a complete defense to a homicide or assault charge if it is justified.  This is often the case where there is a fight between two individuals or there is an intruder in your home or vehicle.  A claim of self-defense may not prevent charges from being filed. Self defense is defined as: Use of physical force by defendant upon another person is justifiable when the defendant believes that such force is necessary to protect himself against the use or imminent use of unlawful physical force by the other person. Unfortunately the term does not always give the criminal defendant the justification they beleive they are entitled.  The law requires the imminent use of force by the other person.  For example, if a person is being beaten, they can repel that with force of their own.  It does not allow a battered spouse to shoot the person in their sleep because the abuse is not imminent at the time.  Moreover, the claim of self defense is based on the defendant's reasonable belief at the time the action is taken. Whether you may claim self defense is a decision to be made by a criminal defendant and their attorney.  If you have been charged with a crime, you should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as practical.  In Boone, Campbell or Kenton counties, call Mike Bouldin at 859-581-MIKE (6453) or email at mwbouldin@fuse.net.

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