HomeLawCan You Use Force for Self-Defense? Everything You Should Know

Can You Use Force for Self-Defense? Everything You Should Know


Every state has its laws and statutes regarding self-defense and assault situations. In Tennessee, there are clauses that provide protective measures for certain situations in which force may be needed for self-defense purposes. If you’re experiencing domestic assault in TN or facing charges for such, you should plan to work with a criminal defense attorney to help you through your case.

Understanding Assault in Tennessee

Assault is defined as someone knowingly or intentionally causing bodily harm to another individual. The definition also includes someone who might make another individual fear they are in danger of bodily harm. Much of this terminology is subjective, which can lead to confusion. That’s where legal counsel comes in handy.

Self-defense assault in Tennessee is clearly covered under the law. The law states that you are allowed to use reasonable force to protect yourself or another individual from being harmed. The stipulation explicitly states that your use of force must be proportional to the threat in question. That means you cannot emit more force than the situation calls for.

When it comes to a case where someone is charged with assault, the question to answer is whether or not force was necessary and whether the right amount of force was used. Did provocation, danger, and other details pertaining to the attack exist?

Specifics for Self-Defense According to Tennessee Law

While there are some gray areas in terminology, the law does break down specific instances in which force may be justified and the level of force that is appropriate. This includes deadly force.

Here are the basics:

  • If you believe a person is in danger, you may use reasonable force to defend them.
  • You may use reasonable force to prevent or terminate someone’s unlawful entry into your home. This situation does allow deadly force, but only when there is reasonable belief of imminent threat of bodily harm.
  • Everything revolves around the reasonable belief that force was truly necessary in your situation.
  • Keep in mind that the force used should be proportional to the threat in question. You cannot exert more force than is necessary.
  • The law enforces a duty to retreat prior to using any type of self-defense, with the exception of being in your home or vehicle, unless involved in unlawful activities.

Experienced Defense Is Crucial for Self-Defense Assault

Because of the concepts of these terms, it is imperative you work with legal counsel or use criminal defense in TN to work every angle of the case. An experienced defense lawyer can walk you through the process, help you pull together data, and even analyze witnesses and more. This is your best bet to make it through this situation.

What may seem like a no-brainer to you can often be twisted in the courtroom. Your story will be analyzed, and the prosecuting attorney will do everything they can to discredit you. This is why appropriate and experienced legal counsel is so imperative. Let your side of the story be heard for the best outcome for your case.

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