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Why do police charge you with murder for defending yourself?

On Behalf of | Jan 13, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

Self-defense is one of the most basic human rights. While interpersonal violence is typically a legal violation, becoming violent to defend yourself, your property, your family members or an innocent stranger may sometimes be necessary.

Unfortunately, some people who act solely in self-defense wind up charged with a criminal offense when police arrived. Why would the police charge you with murder when you were only acting to protect yourself, your home or someone that you love?

The scenario may not be as clear-cut as it seems to you

You know that you were just sitting on your couch when someone kicked in your back door or that you came home to discover armed burglars already going through your possessions. However, police don’t know that you didn’t invite the other person inside until they have thoroughly examined the crime scene and evaluating the evidence available to them.

While you may have informed them that you acted in self-defense as soon as they arrived, they may err on the side of caution and arrest you while they investigate. If the evidence doesn’t seem to align with your claims initially, prosecutors might charge you with murder.

You still have the right to defend yourself in court

Oklahoma actually has relatively strong self-defense laws in place. Provided that you gather evidence and strategize carefully for your defense, you may be able to convince a judge or jury that you were acting solely with the intent to protect yourself or others.

Oklahoma law does justify the use of lethal force in scenarios where one person poses an imminent threat of harm to others. Knowing your rights and finding the right language to explain what occurred can be important steps toward protecting yourself after defending yourself.