Most people think that people are allowed to defend themselves any time they are attacked, assaulted, or provoked. Well, the law on self-defense in North Carolina says otherwise, and with good reasons too. Generally, you can defend yourself but the laws on self-defense set forth several requirements. While thinking of arming yourself with ammunition for self defense, you should also arm yourself with the pertinent laws. This blog post will explain the applicable laws on self-defense in NC. In North Carolina, as in many other states, self-defense laws guide the rights of North Carolinians to protect themselves against attacks.
Prior to 2011, before using deadly force North Carolinians had a duty to first retreat in the face of an attack or assault; if possible. Otherwise, you would have ended up with a criminal charge on your hands for not running away from an attack.
The ‘Stand Your Ground’ law operates in North Carolina. It removes the duty of the citizens to retreat from attacks or threats before one can use deadly force. It takes into account, the length to which one can go to defend themselves or another person against attacks. However, the law operates within reason to protect your rights to self-defense in NC.
Essentially, you are only allowed to stand your ground (with deadly force) against an attack within reason.
The use of deadly force is only permissible where one is in imminent danger of death or serious injury. Otherwise, the force (self-defense) must be on par with the force of the attack. For instance, proper self-defense answers a punch with a punch rather than a shot for a punch. Similarly you can’t take out a knife and stab someone who has slapped you. You cannot use excessive force or deadly force during a mild attack or fight.
The ‘Stand Your Ground’ law in North Carolina allows one to use force, deadly or otherwise, in self-defense. The self-defense must be within reason when such citizen is at his or her home, vehicle or workplace. A person may also use reasonable force to defend his family or a third-party. Before you decide to stand your ground you better be doubly sure that deadly force is necessary. If it was not appropriate to use deadly force you can bet that you'll face a serious assault charge.
If you need more clarification about self-defense in NC please contact our office for a free consultation with a criminal defense attorney. We are here to provide you with more information and guidance. Lastly, if you’ve been charged with assault but you think you have a valid claim of self-defense we’d be happy to defend you.