sub banner image

What Is Self-Defense?

Self-defense is the right to use reasonable force to protect yourself when threatened with physical harm or death.

In Tennessee, there are self-defense laws that aim to protect individuals from criminal convictions if they cause physical harm or death to a person when they are defending themselves. However, in some cases, individuals will face criminal charges for various crimes following a self-defense incident.

Understanding Tennessee self-defense laws and what counts as self-defense can be essential to protecting yourself and your future.

Tennessee Self-Defense Laws

In Tennessee, two main laws allow individuals to use force in self-defense. They are nicknamed the stand-your-ground law and the castle doctrine.

Stand your ground describes your right to defend yourself outside of your residence, and the castle doctrine describes your right to defend yourself while inside of your residence. The castle doctrine specifically recognizes the sanctity of one’s home and allows individuals to protect their families and property from potential harm caused by an intruder or attacker.

Tennessee Code Ann. Section 39-11-611 allows individuals to use deadly force in self-defense when justified by an imminent threat of serious bodily injury or death. This law also specifies that there is no legal obligation to attempt to retreat or escape from the attacker.

What Constitutes Self-Defense in Tennessee?

In Tennessee, self-defense is a legal defense available for individuals facing criminal charges. However, for the defense to be valid, there are specific requirements that must be met.

  • The imminent danger requirement. This means that self-defense can only be used if the defendant is facing immediate danger of being killed or seriously injured and if there is no other reasonable alternative to using force.
  • The reasonable belief requirement. There must have been a reasonable belief that using force was necessary to prevent imminent injury or death. Additionally, the law requires that the amount of force used is necessary and proportionate to the threat posed by the attacker. Using excessive force can lead to criminal liability.

Facing Criminal Charges Following a Self-Defense Incident

The consequences of a violent crime conviction can be severe and life-altering. If you acted in self-defense, there is no guarantee that you will not face a criminal conviction. It is crucial to have an experienced and reliable criminal defense attorney by your side.

Claiming self-defense can be a complex liability issue, especially if it is heavily contested by the other party. In some cases, the other party will also claim self-defense, which can make it very difficult to prove who the initial aggressor was and if the force used was necessary and proportionate.

Contact Our Tennessee Criminal Defense Attorney

If you are currently facing criminal charges following a self-defense incident, our skilled defense lawyer, Andrew C. Beasley, can provide compelling legal representation to protect your rights during this difficult time.

Our defense team will gather evidence to support your self-defense claim and guide you through every step of the legal process. To learn more about how Tennessee self-defense laws apply to your case, contact Andrew C. Beasley, PLLC, today to schedule a free case review.

Get In Touch With Us

By checking this box you agree to receive text messages at the number provided