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Is there a duty to retreat in Arkansas self-defense cases?

On Behalf of | Mar 12, 2022 | Criminal Defense

Some people choose to become violent, and other people only resort to violence to protect themselves, their property or other people. When someone attacks another person or threatens them, they can face assault charges or worse, depending on what occurs. The person they threaten or harm has the right to defend themselves using physical force.

Those who respond to threats or physical assault with violence will potentially face police investigation and even prosecution. However, they may be able to defend themselves successfully against any charges.

In Arkansas, people can use physical force and even legal weapons in an act of self-defense if they deem it necessary. So long as you view the other party as a credible threat, that belief may justify your actions. Before you use a weapon or physical force to defend yourself, do you have a duty to retreat?

Arkansas has changed its laws

A duty to retreat means that you need to try to leave the situation if possible. If you were in a parking lot, retreating might look like entering the nearby business to ask for help. Recently, Arkansas adopted a stand your ground law that applies to acts of self-defense.

Someone who believes that they or another person are in immediate danger can use physical force or even a weapon in self-defense without trying to leave the situation first. Although self-defense should only use the least amount of force necessary, some people will feel the need to use lethal force to protect themselves from an immediate threat.

Of course, with the law being relatively new, actual rulings on cases where the law applies are necessary so that people can better understand the application of the law in Arkansas. Understanding changing criminal laws can help individuals, especially those accused of a violent criminal offense.