In today's world, with the ease of acquiring weapons, deadly force can be the most common and most dangerous issue you will ever face. The principles of martial arts are founded upon the premise that the application of force may be unavoidable to safeguard a human life. This is why there are a plethora of techniques that equip an unarmed person to kill an aggressor with ease. Owing to the fact that we are not in a leviathan nation where life is "brutish and short", the civilized society has created rules out of a dire need to help maintain the status quo. Therefore, it is advisable for you to understand these rules before you take necessary action.
There are many theories and opinions that abound when it comes to how and when to use deadly force as a measure of self-defense. Hence a trial and error technique in this matter could be calamitous for you. This is obviously a no brainer as the bad use or misapplication of deadly force can result in a double catastrophe for the parties involved. Of course, one of whom may be dead, and the other who may spend a lifetime in jail for murder. The essence of this guide is to give you an elemental framework for knowing the way that the enacted law sees the use of deadly force in a situation for self-defense.
The reason why there is a misunderstanding as to the application of deadly force in self-defense situations is because the law is unique from state to state and jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Although there are similarities in the different laws, their context and application can vary greatly.
Deadly Force Meaning
"Deadly force" is defined as the force which is known by the user that is appropriate to result in death or serious bodily harm. Any other force is known as "Non-deadly force". Non-deadly force is permissible in many self-defense situations but deadly force can only be used in the most extreme scenarios.
Before you engage an opponent in any type of force, certain prerequisites must exist. First, you must believe that force is at once required to stop the other party from illegally causing you physical injury. If a person throws expletives at your person, but do not display any sign of physical intimidation, there is no legality for the justification of the application of any type of force against such a person. A reasonable belief must be had by you that the conduct of the other party was to cause you physical harm.
If a law enforcement authority performs a lawful arrest on your person, you generally do not have the justification for force in a self-defense scenario. Therefore, you are generally not permitted to utilize force to prevent an arrest by an enforcement agent be it unlawful or not. However, some jurisdictions allow the application of force in self-defense situations where the law officer applies more force than is needed to make an arrest.
There must be a reasonable likelihood that the other party is immediately likely to cause you physical injury. If he is screaming at you but does not instantaneously try to convert such anger into physical force, you do not have a reason to employ force. But in some jurisdictions, a balled fist raised against your direction is a manifestation of intended physical force and the justification is founded. You must immediately believe you have to protect yourself against the threat of force against you. If a party threatens violence against your person at a later date but displays no force in the present, Physical force is not needed.
In all, these are some of the rules you should keep in mind when you find yourself in situations where the need for self defense arises.