In general, a person may use reasonable force to defense himself from physical attack.  Once the Defense of Self-Defense has been raised, the prosecution must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defendant did not act in self-defense.

In order to defend oneself with a dangerous weapon likely to cause injury or death or to use deadly force, the person using the weapon or deadly force must have a reasonable belief, and must actually believe, that he was in imminent danger of death or  serious bodily injury from which he could only save himself by using deadly force.

In situations involving mutual combat, a person may use no more force than is reasonably necessary in all of the circumstances to defend himself.  Unreasonable or excessive force is force that is manifestly disproportionate under all the circumstances.

The question as to how far the defendant's actions went in defending himself is a question for the jury to decide.  In considering the reasonableness of the defendant's actions in defending himself, the jury is asked to consider evidence of the relative physical capabilities of the parties involved, how many persons were involved on each side, the characteristics of the weapons used, if any, and the availability of room to maneuver or opportunities to escape from the area.

If you have been charged with a Violent Crime in Massachusetts, such as Murder, Assault & Battery or Assault & Battery with a Dangerous Weapon, and believe you have a defense of Self-Defense, you should immediately consult with an experienced Massachusetts Criminal Defense Attorney.

Boston Criminal Defense Lawyer Lefteris K. Travayiakis has experience in defending Violent Crimes and in successfully asserting the Defense of Self-Defense at trial. 

To schedule a Free Consultation to discuss your case, Contact Us Online or call 617-325-9500.