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What happens if you hurt someone while protecting someone else?

On Behalf of | Jun 17, 2024 | Injuries |

Whether you can get in trouble for hurting someone while protecting someone else is a complex question and depends on various factors. In Wisconsin, the law recognizes the right to defend oneself and others. 

Self-defense and defense of others in Wisconsin

Wisconsin law allows the use of force in self-defense and defense of others. According to Wisconsin Statute § 939.48, a person can use force against another if they reasonably believe it is necessary to prevent or terminate an unlawful interference. However, the force must be proportional to the threat faced.

Legal consequences of using force

Using force, even in defense of others, can have serious legal consequences. It’s crucial to understand when and how force can be legally justified to avoid being charged with a violent criminal offense.

If the use of force is deemed excessive or unnecessary, you could face criminal charges. For example, if an angry person is yelling at someone else and pointing their finger at them, and you attack the person with a metal pipe, the courts will likely deem that an unnecessary use of force. 

However, if someone has a gun pointed at another person and you protect that person by hitting the perpetrator with a metal pipe, the courts will be more likely to view that as a necessary use of force. 

Duty to retreat

Wisconsin does not have a “stand your ground” law. But it also does not impose a duty to retreat if you are in a place where you have a legal right to be. This means you do not have to retreat before using force in self-defense or defense of others, provided the use of force is justified.

Understanding Wisconsin’s self-defense laws helps you make informed decisions. Always use the least amount of force necessary to ensure safety and stay within the law. Knowing your rights and limits can protect you in critical situations.



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