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Is Self-Defense a Defense in Denver Criminal Cases?

Posted by Kyle B. Sawyer | Oct 19, 2015 | 0 Comments

The answer to this question is—in some cases, yes. Unfortunately, self-defense isn't always recognized by law enforcement, your accusers, or prosecutors if you've been charged with Assault, Disorderly Conduct or Domestic Violence (after you feel you were defending yourself). That's why a criminal lawyer is vital for your protection. Let's continue reading about how self-defense can be used as a defense in criminal cases in Denver and Adams County, and across Colorado.

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Is Self-Defense a Defense in Denver Criminal Cases?

Is self-defense a defense in Denver criminal cases? Well, according to the definition of Self-Defense (Use of Physical Force in Defense of a Person), C.R.S. 18-1-704, in Denver and Arapahoe County, and across Colorado:

“… a person is justified in using physical force upon another person in order to defend himself or a third person from what he reasonably believes to be the use or imminent use of unlawful physical force by that other person, and he may use a degree of force which he reasonably believes to be necessary for that purpose.”

In some cases in Denver, you can also use deadly physical force against someone else. This is only permissible under the circumstances that:

  1. You think using less aggressive force is inadequate;
  2. You fear death or serious injury;
  3. The other person is using or appears to be close to using physical force against someone in a dwelling or business establishment during the commission of burglary or attempt to commit burglary; or
  4. The other person is committing / appears close to be committing kidnapping, robbery, sexual assault or assault.

It's important to know when self-defense can be used as a defense in Denver and across Colorado. For example, someone may try to steal your purse and you fight back with what you believe to be reasonable force. Yet, if you pull a gun on someone you only believe is about to start a fight with you, that may cross the line of permissible self-defense. The degree of force you use in certain situations is crucial.

Self-Defense is an Affirmative Defense in Jefferson County, Colorado

Self-defense is also an affirmative defense in Jefferson County and across Colorado. An affirmative defense, C.R.S. 18-1-407, means that:

“Unless the state's evidence raises the issue involving the alleged defense, the defendant, to raise the issue, shall present some credible evidence on that issue.”

If the issue involved in an affirmative defense is raised, then the defendant's guilt has to be established beyond a reasonable doubt as to that issue as well as all other elements of the offense. Although self-defense can be an overused defense, it is still useful and applicable in many situations where people are facing criminal charges.

Why You Need the Best Criminal Defense Attorneys in Denver

If you've been charged with Resisting Arrest or Harassment or another crime after you feel you were defending yourself, it's important you have a criminal defense lawyer on your side. An experienced attorney will be able to prove to the judge and jury that physical force was used against you and you were forced to defend yourself as a result. We will prove to the judge and jury you were fearful of injury or death and had no other choice.

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If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime in Denver or Littleton after using self-defense, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and contact the best criminal defense attorneys at O'Malley and Sawyer, LLC for a free consultation at 303-830-0880. Together, we can protect your future.Request a Free Consultation

Image Credit: Pixabay – ClkerFreeVectorImages

About the Author

Kyle B. Sawyer

I have a passion for defending others in criminal cases. I am able to empathize with my clients and understand their emotions and fears. I have a unique perspective on the criminal justice system and I understand what it feels like to be wrongly accused of a crime.


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If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges in the Denver area, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and contact the top criminal defense lawyers at Sawyer Legal Group, LLC at 303-830-0880. Together, we can protect your future. Request a Free Consultation