Have you been involved in an incident where you were forced to use violence? If so, you’re probably worried about being sued. Fortunately, there are situations when the use of violence is justified.

 This posting will give you 4 different scenarios where you will be protected by the law if you needed to use force. Hopefully, the incident you were involved in will fit into one of these categories.


This one is a no-brainer. If you were in physical danger in your situation, then you were allowed to use violence to defend yourself. However, there is one caveat to this. The amount of force that you used must have been reasonable given the circumstances.

 If you used more force than was necessary to stop the threat, then it’s possible that you could be vulnerable to a lawsuit. You will need to be able to show that the amount of force you used was in proportion to the threat.

 Here’s a good example. If someone shoved you, and you responded by stabbing them with a knife, you will most likely be open to a lawsuit. The actions that you took were clearly more than was reasonable in this situation.

 Defending Others

There are situations where you are not in immediate danger, but someone else is. If this is the case, you are allowed to use violence to defend the person in jeopardy. The same rules as self-defense apply.

 If you have a good reason to believe that another person is being threatened, you can use necessary force to stop the attacker. This action would be protected by the law.

 The attorneys at Scott and Medling are available to explain the nuances of the law. If you see that an old lady is being attacked by a robber, you are allowed to use whatever force is necessary to incapacitate the robber. If the robber did decide to sue, you could claim defense of another person.

Defending Your Property

The law allows you to use violence to protect your property. If someone is trying to destroy something you own, you can use whatever force is necessary to get them to stop.

 Again, you will need to make sure that you are using reasonable force. If you seriously injure someone who is trying to damage your vehicle, then you may be vulnerable to a lawsuit.

Merchant’s Privilege

Merchant’s privilege is very similar to defense of property. If you happen to own a store, you have the right to protect your store and the merchandise inside.

 The laws surrounding merchant’s privilege vary from state to state. In some states, you are not allowed to confront a thief before calling the authorities.

In most states, you are allowed to confiscate the item that is being stolen if it is in plain view. You are not allowed to search the thief.

If you have been involved in an incident where you had to use violence, you should consult with an attorney who can help you determine whether or not your actions were within the law.