Best Self Defense Weapons Mailbag recently got an email that reads, “Hi, I am a resident of Ohio and I am just wondering when is using lethal force in self defense justifiable?”
According to the interview conducted by MetroMonthly with the Ohio Bar Association, using lethal force in self defense is justifiable if the following conditions are present:
1. You were not at fault in creating the event.
You have to prove that you did not, in any way, start the fight or escalated the situation by your own actions. You also have to show that you did not continue fighting after the aggressor tried to run away from the fight or you did not aggravate the event by pulling a deadly weapon, such as a gun, in the middle of a petty fistfight.
2. You had reasonable and honest belief that there is imminent risk of serious injury or death.
There must be solid facts that led you to believe that your life is in serious danger and using lethal force is the only way to avert the dangerous situation. In other words, make sure that you have used lethal force in self defense as your last resort only.
3. There is no violation in your duty to retreat from the situation.
There should exist a proof as well that the situation did not provide you a window of opportunity to retreat without taking serious harm. However, an exemption to this rule under the “Stand Your Ground” law of Ohio is when you are at your place of residence, area of business or vehicle wherein there is no obligation on your part to physically retreat during life threatening events.
It should be noted though that all the factors mentioned here must be proven by a preponderance (with greater weight) of the evidence. Therefore, make sure that you have your legal counsel with you if you find yourself in court for using lethal force in self defense.
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