Columbus, OH asked in Domestic Violence and Criminal Law for Ohio

Q: Is it a crime to defend yourself against someone with a broken leg or arm if they attack you?

If a person with a broken leg or arm is possibly still a threat and tries to harm me but I defend myself is that considered self-defense or assault?

1 Lawyer Answer
Matthew Williams
Matthew Williams
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Cleveland, OH
  • Licensed in Ohio

A: You are permitted to use proportionate force to defend yourself. It all comes down to reasonableness. Is it reasonable to shoot a person for slapping you in the face? No. That's not self-defense. Does it matter if your attacker has an injury like you say? Yes, to some extent that will inform the decision as to whether whatever force you employ was reasonable. But if a man in a wheel chair with one arm in a cast points a gun at you with his only good arm, it is still reasonable to respond with deadly force.

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