In some situations, you may have to commit an act of self-defense in order to protect yourself, others, or your property. An act of self-defense is usually an act of force that would, in other circumstances, be illegal. The state of Illinois recognizes that there are some situations in which you might need to use force against another person to protect yourself from harm. These self-defense laws can be found in the Illinois Criminal Code of 2012 under Justifiable Use of Force
If you have been charged with a crime in Illinois, you can use self-defense as an argument for your innocence with help from an Illinois criminal defense lawyer.
In Illinois, a person is permitted to use force against another person “when and to the extent that he reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or another against such other’s imminent use of unlawful force.” For an argument of self-defense to be legitimate, you must prove that:
- You or someone else were threatened by a person’s use of unlawful force;
- Your use of force was necessary to protect yourself or the other person; and
- The only reason you used force was to prevent harm to yourself or the other person.
- Imminent danger means that the threat of harm was present and immediate. You can also only use self-defense as an argument if the imminent threat was unlawful force. Unlawful force can include acts like:
- Sexual assault or abuse;
- Domestic violence; or
Defending Your Property
In Illinois, you are also allowed to use force when you believe that using such force will allow you to prevent or stop unlawful entry or attack on your property. If the force that you used was likely to result in death or great bodily harm, the force can only be justified as self-defense if:
- The entry to your property was made in a violent or riotous manner and the use of force was necessary to prevent to you or others on your property; or
- The use of force was necessary to prevent a felony from being committed on your property.
A Skilled Joliet, IL Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help
If you have been charged with a crime because you used force in self-defense, you need the help of an experienced Will County criminal defense lawyer. The Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba can help you make your case as to why your use of force was justified in that situation. As an Illinois citizen, you retain the right to protect yourself and your property. Call the office at 815-740–4025 to schedule a free consultation.