The following is a video transcript.
I want to talk about your rights to defend another person and some of the dangers you want to avoid if you are put in that situation.
You have the right to defend another person if that person faces a threat that entitles them to use self-defense. In other words, you have the right to use deadly force to defend another person if you have reasonable belief it is necessary to use deadly force to prevent imminent death or serious bodily injury to that person.
Whether to defend another person is an easy call if it is a family member or close friend. Obviously, in that case, you understand the situation and the person you are defending. The danger arises is if it is a stranger.
It is very important that you make sure the situation truly calls for self-defense. Two friends rough-housing would not appreciate your intervention and may subject you to criminal charges for your actions.
You need to also be careful not to expose yourself to danger. Domestic violence situations are particularly volatile and may expose you to attack not only from the aggressor, but from the person you’re seeking to protect.
If it is possible to call 911 and let the professionals handle the situation, you should do so. However, if you feel you must intervene to protect a third person, be clear that you have assessed the situation correctly and make sure that you also protect yourself from harm.
For any questions about defending a third person in North Carolina and what pitfalls to avoid, call U.S. LawShield and ask to speak to your Independent Program Attorney today.