What is Self Defense?
What is self defense in North Carolina?
Since the tragedies in France and California, questions about self defense and protection of others are everywhere.
I wrote about the specifics of the North Carolina Self Defense Law at Welborn Law Blog because as a trial attorney I am frequently asked:
When can I use deadly force for self defense?
A person may use deadly force to protect themselves IF the person reasonably believes such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or bodily harm to himself / herself or another, EXCEPT IF
- The person knew or reasonably should have known, that the person was either law enforcement or a bail bondsmen;
- The person uses deadly force against a law enforcement officer who is lawfully performing their official duties after having first identified themselves;
- The person using deadly force is engaged in or attempting to commit a felony;
- The person using deadly force is determined to have been the initial aggressor in the confrontation and fails to withdraw or attempt to withdraw from the escalation of the confrontation prior to exercising deadly force;
QUICK ANSWER: You may shoot someone if you reasonably believe your life is in danger, so long as, none of the exceptions above apply.
Can I use self defense to protect others?
One may use deadly force / self defense of others when the person using force reasonably believes such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or bodily harm to the other person subject to the similar conditions set forth in self defense of their self.
When can I use non deadly force?
A person may defend themselves, even if the other’s assault is not deadly. One may use a reasonable amount of force to stop / prevent serious injury to their self or others. However, deadly force may be prohibited unless the person has a reasonable belief that force is necessary to prevent imminent death or bodily harm.
Can I shoot someone breaking into my home or car?
North Carolina General Statute 14-51.2 covers three defenses: Each of these defenses are similar in that a lawful occupant of a home, workplace, or motor vehicle is presumed to have a reasonable fear of imminent death or serious bodily harm if both of the following apply:
- The person against whom the defense force was used was unlawfully or forcibly entering or had unlawfully / forcibly entered or that person had removed or was attempting to remove another person against their will from said place, and
- The occupant knew or had reason to believe an unlawful and forcible entry or unlawful and forcible act was or had occurred. EXCEPT,
- In situations as detailed in NC GS 14-51.2(c) or as previously stated regarding law enforcement officers and bail bondsmen.
What is my view of self defense as a Judicial Candidate?
I value our Constitution and Bill of Rights, and if elected, I will uphold every citizen’s right to protect themselves and their loved ones within the limits the law places upon me. It is our right to keep and bear arms and when necessary deadly force may be used for our protection. As a NRA member and carrier of a Lifetime NC Hunting License , I know the importance firearms play in many of our lives for both recreation and protection. I rely on the Second Amendment to empower me to protect what is important to me. My family, neighbors, and friends.
READ MORE at jonwelbornlaw.com/self-defense-law-in-nc/
by Jon Welborn
Jon is a Superior Court Judicial Candidate and has over a decade of experience litigating a variety of cases in all NC Trial Courts. Learn more about his campaign at WelbornForJudge.com or on Facebook. For specific legal questions, contact Welborn Law.