self-defense
n.
The act of defending oneself against threatened injury; the right to protect oneself or one’s family from immediately threatened harm, which can serve as a defense in a criminal or tort action arising out of injuries caused by an act of self-defense.

The Essential Law Dictionary. — Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. . 2008.


self-defense
The use of reasonable force to protect oneself from an aggressor. Self-defense shields a person from criminal liability for the harm inflicted on the aggressor. For example, a robbery victim who takes the robber's weapon and uses it against the robber during a struggle won't be liable for assault and battery if he can show that his action was reasonably necessary to protect himself from imminent harm.
Category: Criminal Law
Category: Small Claims Court & Lawsuits

Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary. . 2009.


self-defense
The protection of one's person or property against some injury attempted by another.

Dictionary from West's Encyclopedia of American Law. 2005.


self-defense
I
The protection of one's person or property against some injury attempted by another.
II The claim that an act otherwise criminal was legally justifiable because it was necessary to protect a person or property from the threat or action of another.

Short Dictionary of (mostly American) Legal Terms and Abbreviations.

self-defense
n.
   the use of reasonable force to protect oneself or members of the family from bodily harm from the attack of an aggressor, if the defender has reason to believe he/she/they is/are in danger. Self-defense is a common defense by a person accused of assault, battery or homicide. The force used in self-defense may be sufficient for protection from apparent harm (not just an empty verbal threat) or to halt any danger from attack, but cannot be an excuse to continue the attack or use excessive force. Examples: an unarmed man punches Allen Alibi, who hits the attacker with a baseball bat. That is legitimate self-defense, but Alibi cannot chase after the attacker and shoot him or beat him senseless. If the attacker has a gun or a butcher knife and is verbally threatening, Alibi is probably warranted in shooting him. Basically, appropriate self-defense is judged on all the circumstances. Reasonable force can also be used to protect property from theft or destruction. Self-defense cannot include killing or great bodily harm to defend property, unless personal danger is also involved, as is the case in most burglaries, muggings or vandalism.
   See also: assault, homicide

Law dictionary. . 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • SELF-DEFENSE — (in modern Jewish history). Jewish efforts against attacking mobs in Russia and in Austria Hungary from the end of the 19th century until shortly after World War I. The nature of the pogroms in this period (especially in the years 1881–82,… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • self-defense — self defensive, adj. /self di fens , self /, n. 1. the act of defending one s person when physically attacked, as by countering blows or overcoming an assailant: the art of self defense. 2. a claim or plea that the use of force or injuring or… …   Universalium

  • Self-defense — Défense personnelle Pour les articles homonymes, voir Autodéfense. Défense avec la paume de main sur une tentative de saisie Le terme défense personnelle, ou le terme …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Self-défense — Défense personnelle Pour les articles homonymes, voir Autodéfense. Défense avec la paume de main sur une tentative de saisie Le terme défense personnelle, ou le terme …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Self defense — Défense personnelle Pour les articles homonymes, voir Autodéfense. Défense avec la paume de main sur une tentative de saisie Le terme défense personnelle, ou le terme …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Self défense — Défense personnelle Pour les articles homonymes, voir Autodéfense. Défense avec la paume de main sur une tentative de saisie Le terme défense personnelle, ou le terme …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Self-Defense — • The right of a private person to employ force against any one who unjustly attacks his life or person, his property or good name Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Self Defense     Self Defense …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • self-défense — [sɛlfdefɑ̃s] n. f. ÉTYM. 1873, in Höfler; 1869 comme mot angl., in Höfler; 1899 en zool. in Année sc. et industr. 1900, p. 151; angl. self defense, de self , et defense « défense ». ❖ ♦ Anglic. Procédé de défense où la personne attaquée n utilise …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • self-defense — self de fense noun uncount 1. ) actions that you take or force that you use in order to protect yourself: in self defense: Margaret claims she was acting in self defense when she shot him. 2. ) fighting skills that you can use to defend yourself… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • self-defense — [self′di fens′] n. 1. defense of oneself or of one s rights, beliefs, actions, etc. 2. the skill of boxing: usually in the phrase manly art of self defense 3. Law the right to defend oneself with whatever force is reasonably necessary against… …   English World dictionary

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