MEMBER OF THE NATIONAL TRIAL LAWYERS
Self-defense is a defense where the following three conditions exist: First, the circumstances, at the time the defendant acted, would have caused a person of ordinary firmness to reasonably believe that such action was necessary or apparently necessary to protect that person from bodily injury or offensive physical contact. Second, the circumstances actually created such belief in the defendants mind. Third, the amount of force was not excessive but was limited to reasonable force. The right to use force extends only to such force reasonably appearing to the defendant under the circumstances that was necessary to protect the defendant from bodily injury or offensive physical contact. Factors considered when determining whether the force was reasonable include the size, age and strength of the defendant as compared to the victim, the fierceness of the assault, if any, upon the defendant, whether the attacker possessed a weapon, and the reputation, if any, of the attacker for danger or violence.