Hopefully, it does not happen, but there may be a time where your safety could be at risk and you have no choice but to defend yourself. If this occurs, there is something to know in regard to how much force can be used, whether or not you have the right to protect your property and what it means in terms of a domestic dispute. Here is a quick overview of how self-defense laws work in Colorado.
Make my day laws
Colorado is unique in its “Make My Day” law which allows a person to protect their property by all means necessary including wounding someone fatally if a threat is present. This is most easily provable with something like a home invasion but may be more difficult outside the home with something like a carjacking. It is important to note that even fists could be considered a deadly weapon in this scenario so if someone comes into your home with any type of threat this law makes it pretty easy to claim self-defense when in other circumstances it could be considered excessive force.
In terms of domestic violence, if the police are called they will usually take somebody in and the have the ability to arrest someone even if they did not physically see the incident but believe that there is probable cause that it actually occurred. This can sometimes make self-defense cases not so clear-cut and it could end up where someone is charged for assault or murder even if it was self-defense. In cases like this, it is important to bring forth any evidence possible to show why it was just someone defending themselves from an attacker.
Assault vs self-defense
So overall there can sometimes be a very fine line between self-defense and assault. If you are on the street and someone threatens to punch you and you, in turn, shoot them then it could end up where you go to jail for excessive force but if the same thing happens in your home then there would be a lot more leniency because of the “Make my day” law. The key is to assess what the actual threat is. If someone is just saying aggressive things then it would not be appropriate to return those words with physical force and doing so can get you in trouble but is someone is physically threatening to cause you harm then you should, by all means, do what you need to do to protect yourself and most of the time the law will be on your side.