In Arizona, individuals can use or threaten physical force when confronted with unlawful physical force by another individual or when preventing certain crimes described under Arizona Law. Under Arizona Law ARS 13-404, the circumstances that allow the use of physical force or self defense generally include: when a reasonable person put in the same circumstances would feel it would be justified to use said force to defend themselves.
At Jeff GOULD Law, we know that understanding when self-defense laws apply (or do not apply) in Arizona could protect you from a potentially dangerous situation. So, we’ve compiled 5 things YOU should know about self-defense laws in Arizona:
- When does the Self-Defense Claim apply?
Under Arizona Law, the circumstances that allow individuals to act in self-defense for certain situations do not qualify for unlimited use of physical force. The statute only allows for force to the extent that a reasonable person would deem it as immediately necessary to protect against another individual’s unlawful force. To determine what may be considered to be deemed immediately necessary in Arizona, the jury must decide how “a reasonable person would have reacted if put in the defendant’s position” and whether “the defendant reasonably believed they were in immediate danger.” Any disproportionate or unreasonable use of force is not allowed. A jury will look at all the facts and circumstances to determine reasonableness in the given case.
- Defense of Others in Arizona
Under Arizona Law ARS 13-406, an individual is permitted to threaten or use physical force to protect another, but only to the extent that the other person would be allowed to defend themselves. So, the person you’re defending must be justified in using self-defense themselves, and the force or threat thereof must be reasonable and proportional, as determined by a jury.
- When is Deadly Force permitted in Arizona?
Under Arizona Law ARS 13-405, the permitted use of deadly force in Arizona is limited to a narrow set of circumstances. You may only use deadly force if you’re in reasonable fear of immediate serious physical injury or death. Self-defense, especially deadly force, must always be proportional, reasonable, and immediately necessary. So, unless you are faced with the immediate threat of serious injury or death, deadly force is not permitted in Arizona as a mode of self defense.
- Arizona’s “Stand Your Ground” Laws
Many states have “stand your ground” laws that allow you to stand and use self defense rather than retreat; however, other states have a different law that states it is the duty of a defendant to retreat from dangerous situations before defending oneself.
While Arizona Law doesn’t explicitly include “stand your ground”, Arizona laws effectively allow individuals to stand their ground when faced with immediate danger. This means that there is no duty to retreat from a dangerous situation before defending oneself. If you are not engaged in an unlawful act, and you are in a place that you are permitted to be, and another individual threatens or assaults you, you may use reasonable and proportional force when immediately necessary.
- Self-Defense Claim Limitations
While Arizona Law allows for proportional and reasonable self-defense, it’s important to realize that there are limitations to self-defense in Arizona. The following are situations where self-defense DOES NOT apply to the use of physical force:
- When you are only confronted with verbal provocation: for instance, If someone swears at or insults you, you are not permitted to respond with real or threatened violence.
- When resisting arrest: Even if you aren’t guilty of the offense for which you are being arrested, you cannot resist arrest or respond with violence unless the officer is using unreasonable or unlawful force.
- If you provoked the initial encounter: The defendant’s freedom of fault from provoking the encounter is essential in claiming self-defense.
- When the threat is not immediate: The threat that evokes a need for self-defense must be immediate, not hours, days, or weeks ago.
It is an extremely difficult and stressful situation to be caught up in the repercussions of a criminal or self-defense case. If you or someone you know finds themselves in this position, you need Jeff GOULD Law, the Attorney in YOUR Corner, to fight for your rights and interests.
DISCLAIMER: The information on this blog/site is NOT, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. It is for general informational use only. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. Further, this information does not create an attorney-client relationship.