Self-Defense: If Your Life Was in Danger, Your Future Shouldn't Be

Self-defense is an important defense for individuals facing homicide or violent crime charges. Yet, it's not as simple as saying that you were in danger. You must prove certain elements to the prosecutor, judge and/or jury to get your charges dismissed. And when it comes to proving to others that your story holds true, your attorney can make all the difference.

At Nicholson, Gansner & Otis, S.C., in Madison, you will find trial attorneys who will pursue every defense opportunity — every opportunity to protect your rights, your freedom, your future. If self-defense is an option for you, we will give your story a voice. You should not be put in prison for protecting yourself or a loved one from serious harm.

How Does Self-Defense Work?

Self-defense is an affirmative defense. This means that if we can prove you acted in self-defense or defense of another and the level of force you used was reasonable, then you cannot be convicted of your charges even if prosecutors can prove you committed the offense. Self-defense can apply to both homicide charges and violent crime charges such as mayhem, battery, sexual assault and recklessly endangering safety.

Proving self-defense under Wisconsin law, however, can be challenging. You must be able to show:

  • If you used deadly force: The force you used was both subjectively and objectively necessary to prevent death.
  • If you used nondeadly force: You used a subjectively and objectively reasonable degree of force to prevent unlawful interference.

You may only use the force you reasonably believe is necessary to prevent harm to your property or person or another person. If the court (or the jury) finds that you used greater force than was reasonably necessary, it can still hold you accountable for your actions.

Discuss Self-Defense and Other Defenses in a Free 30 minute Initial Consultation

Even if self-defense is not an option in your case, there may be other defenses available to you. Talk to an experienced trial lawyer in a free 30 minute initial consultation. Call 608-620-0018 or send us an email. We offer weekend, evening and off-site appointments upon request.