North Carolina Law on Self-Defense Allows the Use of Only "Reasonable" Force
In North Carolina, self-defense laws allow an individual to use reasonable force to defend themselves, others, or their property from imminent harm or threat of harm. However, the use of deadly force is only allowed in limited circumstances.
North Carolina's self-defense law is based on the doctrine of "justifiable use of force" and is found in Chapter 14 of the North Carolina General Statutes. The law states that a person is justified in using force to defend themselves, others, or their property if they believe that such force is necessary to prevent imminent harm or threat of harm.
Use of Deadly Force Limited
However, the use of deadly force is only justified if the individual reasonably believes that it is necessary to prevent imminent death or serious bodily harm to themselves or another person. The individual must not be engaged in any illegal activity and must not have provoked the other person into using force.
No Duty to Retreat
It is important to note that North Carolina law does not require individuals to retreat before using force to defend themselves, but they may not use more force than is necessary to protect themselves or others from harm. The law also does not permit individuals to use force to protect their property in most circumstances.
If an individual uses force in self-defense, they may have to prove that their use of force was reasonable under the circumstances. This is known as an affirmative defense. If they are successful in proving that their use of force was justified, they may not be convicted of a crime.
North Carolina self-defense law allows individuals to use reasonable force to protect themselves, others, or their property from harm or threat of harm. Deadly force is only allowed in limited circumstances, and individuals must not be engaged in any illegal activity or have provoked the other person. Individuals may have to prove that their use of force was reasonable under the circumstances if they are charged with a crime.
If you or a loved one is charged with an assault or aggravated assault, give us a call or submit the contact form for a free consultation to discuss possible legal or factual defenses to the charge. Consultations in criminal matters are always free!