Minnesota law allows a defendant charged with aggravated assault to assert the right to self defense under certain conditions. Before you may rely on self defense at trial, the law requires that you retreat from the encounter before resorting to the use of force. If it is not possible to retreat from the encounter, you may use a reasonable amount of force to defend yourself. Depending on the facts of the case, a person may have been able to run to safety and avoid a violent encounter. If so, self defense is not available. Secondly, the use of force must be reasonable under the circumstances. If someone, for example, grabs your arm, punching them in the face and knocking them out cold may be considered the use of unreasonable force. The law allows you to use only as much force as is necessary to defend yourself. To sum up, the use of self defense requires that you retreat from the encounter, if at all possible. If there is no way for you to retreat, you may use only a reasonable amount of force to defend yourself. The ability to assert self defense in an assault case can be determined only after conducting a thorough investigation of the facts necessary to support the defense.
If you, or someone you know, has been charged with aggravated assault, you may be able to claim self defense. You will need an experienced Minneapolis criminal defense attorney to evaluate your case for self defense. Call Robert J. Shane at (612) 339-1024 or visit his website for more information on the law of self defense at www.criminallawyerminnesota.com.