Unfortunately, we all know that there may come a time when we need to defend ourselves. Thankfully, Michigan law agrees.

If you have an honest and reasonable belief that great force is necessary to neutralize a threat on your life, you may act in self-defense. All Michigan citizens can use deadly force if they believe their life or the life of another is in jeopardy. Law enforcement and prosecutors often make mistakes. They don’t always know all the facts.

Thus, Michigan has a “Stand Your Ground Law.” Michigan law permits the use of deadly force to protect oneself or another from imminent danger. Michigan also has a “Castle Doctrine” which permits deadly force against someone who has unlawfully broken into their home. You could learn the specifics of these laws with help from a Marquette self-defense lawyer.

What is the “Stand Your Ground” Law in Michigan?

MCL 780.972, often called the “Stand Your Ground” law, sets forth the conditions of self-defense. In order to successfully put forth a self-defense claim, three elements must be proven:

  1. The individual was not committing a crime when deadly force was used.
  2. The individual honesty and reasonably believed that the use of deadly force was needed to prevent death, great bodily harm, or sexual assault to themselves or another individual.
  3. The individual’s use of deadly force occurred in a place where the user was allowed to be.

Essentially, as long as you did not commit or were not committing a crime when deadly force was used, self-defense may be permitted. Michigan also does not have a “duty to retreat” provision in the “Stand Your Ground” law. This means a person has no duty to avoid violence if they can safely do so.

It is important to note that you may only use the amount of force needed to prevent the threat.

What is the Castle Doctrine in Michigan?

The Castle Doctrine, or MCL 780.951, sets the guidelines for when you may use deadly force within your own home, vehicle, or business.

If someone attempted to break into your dwelling, is unlawfully occupying your dwelling, or is attempting to remove someone from their dwelling, and is about to commit a felony, you may use lethal force to neutralize the threat.

There is no duty to retreat under Michigan’s Castle Doctrine. This means that you are not expected to retreat from the act of violence to protect oneself.

A Marquette Self-Defense Attorney is Ready to Defend You

Self-defense is very effective strategy used to reduce or sometimes even dismiss charges against our clients. Often, clients may face assault charges when the truth is they were acting in self-defense. A successful Marquette self-defense defense could protect you from a wrongful conviction. We want to ensure that your right to protect yourself is upheld.

At Berger Law, we take special care to analyze your circumstances, apply the facts, and tell the full story. After all, Alex Berger is the only lawyer in the area that focuses solely on criminal defense. Every client gets Alex’s personal phone number and can expect personalized responses and extra care.