Self Defense Lawyer

New Jersey Self Defense Attorney

My name is Anthony N. Palumbo, partner at the law firm Palumbo & Renaud, and I have used self defense to defeat charges for countless clients. As a former municipal and county prosecutor, I can easily pinpoint when this defense will fly and when it's a better to negotiate a plea bargain. If you have been charged with assault, gun possession, possession of a firearm, possession of a concealed weapon, violation of a handgun permit, murder, manslaughter, homicide, theft, or any crime involving force in New Jersey, self-defense may be a viable justification in your case.

Contact me today for legal advice and find out whether self defense warrants a complete dismissal of all your charges. I will listen to your story, and carefully sift through the facts of your case to mount the strongest criminal defense on your behalf. Don't wait. In self defense cases, it is very important to speak with an attorney right away because if the defense is not raised immediately, it may be waived.

Anthony N. Palumbo from the law offices of Palumbo & Renaud defends criminal charges in Middlesex County, Hudson County, Monmouth County, Essex County and the Union County towns of Elizabeth, Cranford, Westfield, Garwood, Linden, Berkeley Heights, Summit, Fanwood, Clark, Hillside, Mountainside, Scotch Plains, Rahway, Roselle Park, Plainfield, and Clark, New Jersey.

Free Initial Consultation at 1-866-664-8118 at no obligation.

NJ Self Defense Law

Self defense refers to situations in which using force against another person is justified. Under New Jersey law, force may be used to protect oneself or someone else so long as all the necessary elements are present. Whether self defense is a viable defense in your case depends on the type of force used, whether it was necessary, and whether the force takes place in the actor's home. Force is generally divided into two types: Force and Deadly Force.

Use of Force

An actor may use plain force to defend himself against another person if he reasonable believes that force is immediately necessary to protect against the unlawful force of another.

  • What is a reasonable belief? In order to have a reasonable belief that force is immediately necessary, the situation must be so that a reasonable person in the actor's situation would have thought the use of force was necessary.
  • What is Immediately Necessary? In order for force to be immediately necessary, the actor must be defending himself against imminent force. This means that if someone threatens the actor, but does not have the ability to use force, the actor has no right to defend himself because the force is not imminent.

When Force Cannot Be Used

Self defense cannot be used to defend against an arrest, even if the arrest is conducted by a peace officer, and even if the arrest is unlawful. However, an actor does have the right to defend against an arresting peace officer if that peace officer uses unlawful force. Self defense also cannot be used when the actor knows that force is being used against him to protect property. However, this rule will not apply if the actor is a public officer or someone assisting a public officer, or the actor is making a lawful re-entry to property or lawfully getting it back.

Use of Deadly Force

Deadly force is force that can cause serious bodily injury or death. Deadly force can only be used to defend against unlawful force if the actor reasonable believes that deadly force is necessary to protect against imminent death or serious bodily injury. Thus, if the person the actor is defending against merely uses plain unlawful force, the actor cannot respond by using deadly force.

When Deadly Force Cannot Be Used

Deadly force cannot be used if the actor provoked the force that he is defending against. Thus, if A hits B, and B uses force to defend against A, A may not use deadly force against B because A is the provoker. Additionally, deadly force cannot be used when the actor has the ability to avoid the need for deadly force by retreating or surrendering property. Thus, in order to justifiably cause death or serious bodily injury to another, an actor must be fighting for his life with no ability to safely get away, and he cannot be fighting for mere property.

Self Defense in a Person's Home

When a person is attacked in his home, he can use force or deadly force to repel the attack, even if the aggressor is only using plain force. This is the major difference in the rules of self defense when the encounter occurs in a person's home. Additionally, the homeowner is not required to retreat before using deadly force, unless he is the initial aggressor. It is important however that the homeowner have a reasonable belief that use of force is immediately necessary. Under the laws of New Jersey, a reasonable belief to use force in one's home will exist when: (1) the actor was inside his home at the time of the encounter; and (2) the intrusion was sudden and unexpected; and (3) the actor reasonably believed that the intruder would cause personal injury if he did not act; or (4) the actor asked the intruder to disarm, withdraw or retreat, and he did not.

New Jersey Self Defense Lawyer

If you have been charged with a crime in New Jersey in which you defended yourself against another person, I would be happy to discuss the specifics of your case with you, and I will give you an honest assessment of the probable outcome of your charge based on the laws of New Jersey. As a former county and municipal Prosecutor, I have unique insight on how to launch a powerful case of self defense for my clients, and I have obtained countless acquittals in self defense cases over the past thirty five years. In the vast majority of my cases, I receive extremely favorable results for my clients and that is why I am one of the most successful attorneys in New Jersey.

Contact me today for a free initial consultation at no obligation at 1-866-664-8118.