The possibility of you facing criminal charges in New Jersey for something as serious as assault may seem outlandish. Yet at the same time, you likely recognize that there are situations where you may feel compelled to actions that (under normal circumstances) might be criminal. The uniqueness of the individual circumstances, however, may cause you to feel justified in your actions.
Situations where you need to defend yourself might merit such feelings of justification. Many come to us here at the Law Offices of Peter G. Aziz & Associates, LLC asking to what extent local state law allows them to defend themselves. Knowing this may be vital to you successfully answering to allegations of criminal conduct.
Determining your duty to retreat
According to the New Jersey State Bar Association, the state does not impose a duty of retreat on you if you find yourself in a situation where you believe defensive action is the only way to avoid having another person act unlawfully against you. However, this right does not extend to all situations where you may face a potential confrontation.
Defining “the Castle Doctrine”
The state only justifies self-defense in cases where you had a reasonable belief of suffering death or serious injury at the hands of another. That reasonable belief exists in cases defined by “the Castle Doctrine,” which follows the age-old adage that “your home is your castle.” Indeed, authorities presume reasonable fear exists in cases where one attempts to unlawfully enter into your home, vehicle or place of business. In such situations, you may indeed respond to a threat with force (even deadly force, if justified).
You can learn more about defending yourself from criminal charges by continuing to explore our site.