But is that reasonable? What will happen in court if you claim self-defense, particularly if the person accusing you of domestic battery is smaller than you or doesn’t appear as if he or she could cause you harm?
Claiming Self-Defense in Domestic Battery Cases
Self-defense is a valid legal strategy. Neither the courts nor Illinois law expect you to simply accept abuse that puts you in danger—you have every right to defend yourself when you’re in danger.
However, the problem with claiming self-defense in a domestic battery case is that many people say it when it’s not true.
In order to claim self-defense, you must have been under the immediate threat of harm during the incident. If you weren’t under an immediate threat of harm—which means the party who’s accusing you of domestic violence wasn’t attempting to or on the verge of causing you harm—it’s not considered self-defense.
Here’s an example that the courts could consider self-defense:
A couple who have been married for 10 years gets into an argument when the wife finds sexual text messages on her husband’s phone. She becomes enraged, lunges at him with a kitchen knife, and he throws her to the ground.
Because the husband could have been stabbed, and it appeared to be the wife’s intent to stab him, he could most likely claim self-defense in this case.
Here’s an example that the courts would most likely not consider self-defense:
A couple who have been married for 10 years get into a small argument. The husband pinches his wife on the arm, which he certainly shouldn’t do, and she stabs him with a butter knife. What the wife did is not self-defense; her response definitely wasn’t proportional to the threat.
Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About Self-Defense in a Domestic Battery Case?
Call us right away at 847-920-4540 for a free case review. We’ll immediately begin developing a strategy that helps you get the best possible outcome.