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Holland & Usry, P.A.

What’s the difference between Stand Your Ground and self-defense?

Basically, South Carolina’s Stand Your Ground law gives added protection to defend yourself in certain places. In particular, here are three factors that are always important to a criminal defense based on this law:

  • Added protection. If you qualify, you are immune from prosecution, meaning your case is dismissed. You do have to prove self-defense, but you don’t have to prove the fourth factor of self-defense, the duty to retreat if possible.
  • Places. Your case must involve a residence, business, or occupied vehicle.
  • Proof. You have to prove self-defense by a preponderance of the evidence, meaning more likely than not.

In contrast, you can use self-defense anywhere else. It’s tougher to prove, though, because:

  • Less protection. The law doesn’t allow for dismissal. It’s a trial defense used to get an acquittal. You’ve got to show all four factors of self-defense, including the attempt to retreat or the inability to do so.
  • Proof. To convict you at trial, the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt at least one element of self-defense doesn’t exist.

Don’t Risk Losing Your Legal Rights Without a Fight

If you’re wondering about Stand Your Ground or self-defense, you can’t afford anything but a criminal defense lawyer you trust. Your future’s on the line, and the State wants to take it. An injured victim or the victim’s family may be pushing hard for it, with the willing help of the police. Don’t let your side get drowned out. Call us at 888.230.1841 to start getting your voice heard.

 

Rob Usry
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Rob is a South Carolina personal injury and criminal defense lawyer.