By Carlos Gamino

Wisconsin law allows people to defend themselves – not just from harm, but from “unlawful interference with is or her person by the other person.” But what does that mean, and is it possible that you could use the privilege of self-defense in court to avoid a criminal conviction?

What is the Privilege of Self-Defense in Wisconsin?

The privilege of self-defense allows you to protect yourself. However, you can’t do whatever you feel like doing if you want to claim self-defense. Instead, you:

  • May only use a reasonably necessary amount of force. You can’t run someone over with a car if you feel like they’re going to punch you.
  • May not intentionally use force intended (or likely) to cause death or great bodily harm unless you believe that much force is necessary to prevent your own great bodily harm or death.
  • Cannot claim self-defense if you provoked other people to attack you, unless you believe the people attacking you are going to cause you great bodily harm or death.

When Could You Claim Self-Defense?

There are several instances in which it could make sense to claim self-defense. For example, if someone walks up to you on the street and attacks you for no reason, you are legally allowed to hit that person back and stop them from harming you. Likewise, you can claim self-defense if you’re breaking up a fight and one (or both) parties turns on you, a claim of self-defense could be successful.

Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney About Claiming Self-Defense?

If you’ve been accused of a crime but you acted in self-defense, or in the defense of another person, we may be able to help you. Call our office at 414-383-6700 now to schedule a free consultation with a professional – we’ll give you the guidance you need.

Attorney Carlos Gamino