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Thread: Legal Rights & Responsibility

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    Default Legal Rights & Responsibility

    How many of you have actually researched and found out what your state/province/etc laws say about using force, or deadly force for that matter, for self defense?

    If so, what do they say?
    "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." – Charles A. Beard

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    Default Re: Legal Rights & Responsibility

    In Maryland.. last I checked...

    You are allowed to strike somone as many times as they have struck you.

    Force of strike is not factored.

    Though it is usualy more of a case by case basis according to a freind of mine who lives in a family of cops.

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    Default Re: Legal Rights & Responsibility

    Up here you may defend your self with as much force as necessary, which actually translates into the least force necessary to defend yourself.
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    Default Re: Legal Rights & Responsibility

    The state of GA says if someone is attempting a felony upon your person (battery/murder/rape) then you are within your rights to respond with what may otherwise have been considered a felony to defend yourself (battery/shooting them/etc).

    However, they do not allow for excessive force. Now, who defines what may be excessive?
    "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." – Charles A. Beard

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    Default Re: Legal Rights & Responsibility

    i had to take a smart serve course when i was club doorman.
    what you are both describing is what would be considered matching their assault against you.....or something like that.
    as a doorman you werent allowed to escalate your level of force above theirs....so you are kind of at their mercy.
    you learn how to fight differently because of it.

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    Default Re: Legal Rights & Responsibility

    WV Law states : Under the laws of this state, if the Defendant was not the aggressor, and had reasonable grounds to believe and actually did believe that he was in imminent danger of death or serious bodily harm from which he could save himself only by using deadly force against his assailant, then he had the right to employ deadly force in order to defend himself. By deadly force is meant force which is likely to cause death or serious bodily harm.

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    Default Re: Legal Rights & Responsibility

    Wow, good question. Being a police officer and familiar with state laws and use of force, I guess this is something I have never considered too much as a martial arts instructor or club operator.

    On another note I read somewhere that Florida just had some legal decisions / legislation in regards to not having to be "backed into a corner" anymore to defend yourself.
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    Default Re: Legal Rights & Responsibility

    Wyoming doesn't have a specific statute defining self-defense, instead it is built on a history of case law.

    In general if you are in public, you have reasonably try to avoid conflict (retreat if necessary) before using force.

    In using force, in general (case law, not statute) if you feel you are in deadly danger, you can use deadly force. It is hard for a prosecuter to pursue these cases because they will have to prove that you weren't in fear for your life, a tough proposition.

    Within your own household, case law findings indicate that you aren't required to retreat.

    There is currently a bill in legislature mimicing wanting to expand the "no retreat" area to include public places. Debate will come with the upcoming session, but it will probably pass, we do after all have a cowboy on our license plate.

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    Default Re: Legal Rights & Responsibility

    Quote Originally Posted by Hunter
    Wow, good question. Being a police officer and familiar with state laws and use of force, I guess this is something I have never considered too much as a martial arts instructor or club operator.

    On another note I read somewhere that Florida just had some legal decisions / legislation in regards to not having to be "backed into a corner" anymore to defend yourself.
    Yes, it also removed your duty to retreat.

    Self-Defense Bill Signed Into Law in Florida
    By Melanie Hunter
    CNSNews.com Deputy Managing Editor
    April 26, 2005

    (1st Add: Includes comments from the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and the South Florida chapter of the Million Mom March.)

    (CNSNews.com) - Florida Gov. Jeb Bush Tuesday signed into law a bill that says if a criminal breaks into someone's home, occupied vehicle or place of business, that person can presume the criminal is there to do bodily harm and use any force against him.

    The "Castle Doctrine" (SB-436), which was sponsored by Sen. Durell Peaden and Representative Dennis Baxley, was passed unanimously by the state Senate and overwhelmingly in the state House. The law also removes the "duty to retreat" if one is attacked in any place that person has a right to be.

    Prior to signing the bill into law, Gov. Bush called it "a good, commonsense, anti-crime issue."

    "Existing law is on the side of the criminal. The new law is on the side of the law-abiding victim," said former National Rifle Association (NRA) president and current executive director of Unified Sportsmen of Florida, Marion P. Hammer.

    "To suggest that you can't defend yourself against a rapist who's trying to drag you into an alley or against a carjacker who's trying to drag you out of your car is nonsense. The ability to protect yourself, your children, or your spouse is important, no matter where you are," said Hammer, who thanked the governor and the bill's sponsors.

    "This law is about affirming that your home is your castle and, in Florida, you have a right to be absolutely safe inside its walls," Hammer concluded.

    The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence blasted the law, claiming Gov. Bush "made a huge mistake signing this law, which threatens to enable every rogue with an itchy trigger finger in Florida."

    Sarah Brady, chair of the Brady Campaign added, "Deciding whether to use deadly force in a public place is something that experienced law enforcement professionals know should never be taken lightly."

    Another gun control group said the new law sends a message to Floridians "that it's okay to use deadly force, including guns, in public."

    "What this is really all about is that the NRA is trying to spread fear, so gun corporations can sell guns," said Dana Quist, president of the South Florida chapter of the Million Mom March.

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    Default Re: Legal Rights & Responsibility

    I feel it is a good law and should be national. An armed society is a polite society. People that are anti-gun need to remember that the Supreme Court of the United States has decreed that the police are under no obligation to protect individuals.
    Just because you do something one way, does not mean that everyone else does it that way, or that it is even the correct way.

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    Default Re: Legal Rights & Responsibility

    As a police officer, I hear this question quite a bit. In reality, there are too many possible scenarios to give someone a definite answer. People are usually looking for a clear, If someone does ______ to me, I can do ______ back to them, and the statutes and case law are never that clear, for good reason. The way I answer this question is: Don't worry about it. If someone attacks you, defend yourself. Do what is neccessary and tell the story to the cops. You will be ok. Now, is this always the way it works? No. Everyone knows our justice system is broken and juries are made up of those people who couldn't come up with a good excuse. That is especially true here in California. After all, OJ is golfing in Florida every day instead of spending his days behind bars. As we say in law enforcement though, "Do what you have to to stay alive. Its better to be judged by twelve than carried by six."

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    Default Re: Legal Rights & Responsibility

    Quote Originally Posted by Hunter
    Wow, good question. Being a police officer and familiar with state laws and use of force, I guess this is something I have never considered too much as a martial arts instructor or club operator.

    On another note I read somewhere that Florida just had some legal decisions / legislation in regards to not having to be "backed into a corner" anymore to defend yourself.
    That is correct. My sister and brother-in-law live down there and they were extremely happy about it. My sister is disabled and at home by herself all day while her husband is at work. She has limited mobility and couldn't get away from an attacker if she wanted to (confined to a wheelchair). So, you can imagine they were relieved by the new law.
    "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." – Charles A. Beard

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    Default Re: Legal Rights & Responsibility

    As a suggestion, Look into a concealed carry permit class, they dont just teach you about how to properly carry a firearm or when and when not to use it, they go into more depth than that on your leagal rights to use deadly force when you are put into a situation like that.

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