When someone in Minneapolis approaches you in a threatening manner, you may feel that you have the right to attack them in order to prevent them from harming you. If he or she sustains an injury and files an assault charge against you, it may potentially lead to a criminal conviction if you are not able to prove that you only acted to prevent yourself from being injured. Minnesota statute 609.06 defines the ways that you may legally use force to protect yourself.

You may not use more force than is reasonable to prevent harm to yourself or another. So, you may resist or obstruct the person’s act against you or the one you are attempting to protect. If you are in a position of authority in a school setting, a mental health facility or you are a public transportation operator, the safety of yourself and others may depend on your action to restrain the person who is creating the threat. Or, you may need to remove that person from the environment so that others may not be harmed.

Even if the person claims that he or she was not attacking, trespassing or otherwise causing a threat of harm, you may be justified in using force if it was reasonable for you to believe such an action was taking place. It may also be reasonable for you to assist a law enforcement officer who is attempting to take a person into custody. There are other distinctions that may apply, depending on the unique circumstances of the situation, so this information should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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