In the State of Ohio you are allowed to use deadly force in self defense. Upon the filing of a Notice of Self-Defense, the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant, when using deadly force, did not act in self defense.
In order to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant, when using deadly force, was not acting in self defense, the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt at least one of the following:
1. That the defendant was at fault in creating the situation giving rise to the incident; or
2. That the defendant did not have reasonable grounds to believe that they were in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm; or
3. That the defendant did not have an honest belief, even if mistaken, that they were in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm; or
4. That the defendant used unreasonable force.
WHAT IS DEADLY FORCE?
Deadly force means any force that carries with it a substantial risk that it will proximately result in the death of a person.
DO YOU HAVE A DUTY TO RETREAT?
No. A person has no duty to retreat before using force in self defense if that person is in a place in which the person lawfully has the right to be.
THE DEFENDANT CANNOT BE AT FAULT IN CREATING THE SITUATION GIVING RISE TO THE INCIDENT.
In order to claim self defense, the Defendant cannot be at fault in creating the situation giving rise to the incident. When using deadly force in self defense, the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was the initial aggressor and either of the following:
1. That the alleged victim did not escalate the situation to deadly force; or
2. That the defendant provoked the alleged victim into using force.
WHAT IS A REASONABLE GROUNDS AND HONEST BELIEF THAT A PERSON IS IN IMMINENT DANGER OF DEATH OR GREAT BODILY HARM?
When considering whether or not the defendant had a reasonable grounds to believe that they were in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm, the jurors must put themselves in the position of the defendant, with the defendant’s characteristics, the defendant’s knowledge, and under the circumstances and conditions that surrounded the defendant at the time.
Often a lawyer will ask the court for a Jury View to assist the jurors in that determination. A Jury View is a tour of the location in which the incident occurred.
WHAT IS REASONABLE VS. UNREASONABLE FORCE?
A person is allowed to use force that is reasonably necessary under the circumstances to protect themself from an apparent danger. The State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant used more force than reasonably necessary and that the force used was greatly disproportionate to the apparent danger.
If you, or a friend or family member is accused of Murder or Assault and you have a question about Self Defense and the Use of Deadly Force in Ohio call Blosser Law Office for a free, no-obligation consultation.