Gun violence is some of the most dangerous because of the weapons being used. A single shot has the potential to kill, putting others’ lives at risk. Normally, there is no good reason to use a weapon against another person.
In your case, you were at home when someone broke in. You felt threatened, and you used your weapon to defend yourself. Was it legal to use lethal force?
Separating truth from fiction
The truth is that most people who use a gun in self-defense would rather not have to use the gun at all. They learned to shoot to protect themselves, but most prefer to never have to use those skills.
The law states that you do have a right to self-defense if you are protecting yourself against having violent acts committed against you. For example, if someone is attacking you with a bat, it may be acceptable for you to use a weapon to fight back and protect yourself.
There are many questions about the use of guns for protection, though. What is a fair amount of force to use? What happens if it turns out that you weren’t in danger, even though you thought you were?
The law typically requires people to use proportional force. That means that if you’re being threatened with a gun, using a gun to defend yourself makes sense. Likewise, if you are insulted and face someone who hits you, hitting them back may be an acceptable behavior. Some states prefer you try to escape before using lethal force.
Wisconsin’s laws allow for lethal force only when the person believes it’s necessary to prevent severe bodily harm or death. To protect yourself and defend your actions, you will need to present your side of the case and show how you were defending yourself and feared for your safety. Your attorney can help you develop a strong defense for the act you committed, so you can prove that you did what you had to for survival’s sake.
See our violent crimes service page to get help now.
Have you been involved in a violent crime? Contact Levine Law.