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Self-Defense In Your Home And In Public Spaces


In the state of Maryland, individuals have the right to use force to defend themselves, others, or their property under certain circumstances. Yet it is important to note that the use of force must be reasonable and proportionate to the threat faced. If you have engaged in an act of self-defense, understanding if your actions are protected by law, or not, is essential.

Whether the incident took place at home or in public, knowing your rights and responsibilities can make a significant difference in legal outcomes. If you find yourself in a situation where you had to use force in self-defense, consult with a skilled Baltimore criminal lawyer in order to navigate the legal complexities and protect your rights effectively.

Examples of Legitimate Self-Defense

Sometimes referred to as the Castle Doctrine, Maryland law recognizes the right of individuals to defend their homes. This means that a person can use force if someone unlawfully enters their home or attempts to commit a violent crime after entering the building where they live. This legal principle is well protected as it emphasizes the sanctity of one’s home. People believe in their right to protect their homes from intruders.

While the concept of self-defense does extend to public spaces in some situations, the law requires individuals to exercise greater caution if they are using self-defense behavior outside of defending their homes. For instance, there is a duty to retreat in public places. This means that if it is safe to do, a person should leave a dangerous situation rather than resorting to force.

Examples of when self-defense behaviors could be appropriate:

  • Home invasion. If an intruder breaks into your home, you have the right to use force to protect yourself and your family.
  • Assault in public. Should someone physically assault you in a public space, and you have reason to believe your life is in danger, using force to defend yourself is legally permitted.

Of course, every situation has its own unique factors to review. Instead of assuming you are protected under state law, sharing the details of your circumstance with a legal professional is advised.

When to Consult a Baltimore Criminal Attorney

Sitting around considering if you should talk to an attorney or not is simply wasting time that your Baltimore criminal lawyer could be using to build your defense. If you are wondering if you should hire an attorney, simply book a no-cost consultation. Then, an attorney can review the circumstances surrounding the incident you were involved in, evaluate the applicability of self-defense laws, and advocate on your behalf if charges are filed against you.

Do you have questions about self-defense protections in the state of Maryland? Seek legal guidance if you find yourself in a situation where you used force to defend yourself or your property. Talking to the attorneys at Iamele & Iamele, LLP early in the process can help protect your rights and ensure that you understand the legal implications of your actions. Contact us today to schedule a fee-free consultation.

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