The law can be extremely confusing, especially when you're confronted with defending yourself for a crime you didn't commit.

The law of self defense is no exception. In this brief video, South Carolina criminal defense attorney Rob Usry explains the first thing you need to know about "proving" self defense is, you don't. Next, you'll learn the basic factors of self defense and what they mean without all the legalese.

Finally, he'll tell you the best possible way to be sure your voice is heard about how you had no choice to defend yourself, since no one's listened so far.


We're talking about self-defense, here how it basically works. To convict you in a self-defense case the state has to disprove self-defense beyond a reasonable doubt. If the state disproves any element of self-defense the defense fails. There’s four elements or factors in self-defense.

Four Elements of Self Defense

  • One, you are without fault and bringing on the difficulty, that means you didn't provoke the fight.
  • Two you believed you were an imminent danger of sustaining serious injury or death or you were actually in imminent danger of that. Imminent danger means immediate danger. Remember all you've got to do is believe you're in imminent danger. You don't have to be right about it. You have the right to act on appearances but that brings us to the third factor.
  • Three if you believed you were in imminent danger, a reasonable person would hold the same belief. That means a normal person would feel the same way.
  • And then four there was no other reasonable or probable way to avoid the danger. This is called the duty to retreat if possible you. don't have to retreat if it's gonna increase the potential for you to be hurt or get killed and under our castle doctrine act, or stand your ground act you don't have to retreat if you're in certain places, like your home or your business.

So as far as the self-defense case goes you've got to do a lot of work and know how to convincingly portray the evidence to have a winning case. For you, the stakes are high and it's too much of a risk to go alone. If you've got a self-defense case call us for a free meeting to strategize your defense and launch your reply to the state's accusations. I thank you for thinking about this with me and I hope I see you soon.

Rob Usry
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Rob is a Spartanburg personal injury lawyer. Rob also practices as a workers' compensation attorney.