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What is imperfect self-defense?

If you are charged with a violent crime in Illinois, the consequences could be severe. If you are convicted, you could face hefty fines or even a prison sentence. Furthermore, the blemish on your record could affect your job prospects, college choices or even the severity of future charges. as such, a good defense is critical to minimize the effect of such charges on your future.

One common defense to accusations of violence is that you were acting in self defense. After all, it is perfectly reasonable to protect yourself or a loved one from imminent harm. If there was no other way to keep yourself safe than to harm the person threatening you, then you have a good chance that self-defense plea might be successful.

However, there are various considerations involved in determining whether an act counts as reasonable self-defense. For example, you might feel threatened when someone did not actually mean any harm. Whether your explanation holds weight with the court can depend heavily on whether your interpretation of the threat was reasonable.

If not, your self-defense plea may still stand, as this article on criminal charges explains. However, it might be classed as imperfect defense. Similarly, if you defend yourself after being the initiator of the altercation in question, this could also fall under the umbrella of imperfect defense.

It?s a complicated matter to understand, so if you are faced with criminal charges, you might benefit from the advice of an attorney. He or she can help you understand the possible consequences of the charges against you and may be able to advise you on the best course of action to take to protect your future.

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What is imperfect self-defense? | Jim Ryan & Associates