While you may not be able to see yourself becoming involved in a physical altercation in Arizona, you likely also recognize that there may indeed be scenarios where you feel forced to act. It is from these situations where self-defense claims arise. 

Many may meet claims of self-defense with skepticism. For this reason, many of our past clients here at Craig Williams, Attorney at Law, LLC worry about authorities doubting their stories. If you share the same concerns, knowing exactly when the law justifies action against another will likely help to assuage them. 

Understanding “the Castle Doctrine”

A legal philosophy known as “Stand Your Ground” forms the basis for many self-defense laws throughout the country. This principle essentially absolves you of the duty to retreat from any situation where another threatens you or a loved one. Arizona law does not exactly follow the “Stand Your Ground” philosophy with its self-defense statute; rather, it subscribes to “the Castle Doctrine.” 

The Castle Doctrine also allows for action in self-defense, but only in the defense of places such as your home, your vehicle or your place of business. Indeed, according to Section 13-405 of Arizona’s Criminal Code, you can react to a threat with force (even deadly force) if the threat presents itself in the place where you are legally entitled to be and you are not in the process of committing an unlawful act. 

Exceptions to Arizona’s self-defense law

There are certain exceptions to the state’s self-defense law, however. You cannot use force in response to a situation if: 

  • One only threatens you verbally 
  • You were the instigator of a confrontation 
  • You act against a law enforcement officer attempting to execute their duties 

You can learn more about responding to criminal accusations by continuing to explore our site.