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What is Self-Defense? Identify and Define the Four General Requirements for a successful modern-day claim of self-defense.


Self-defense can be defined as having the right to protect or prevent any kind of suffering that comes through violence or force that is being done to the defendant by the criminal. The nature of this right can be defined simply, but the nature of this right raises several questions and indications towards the attempt of harm while using the claim of self-defense. The common questions raised by such an act are the use of force in self-defense, the nature of provoking done when using this right, and other options despite having this right.


Self-defense has been and still is part of the argument due to its nature and the required criteria of self-defense in modern days. Despite the fact that several options have been identified in order to protect this right, along with the assessment of it, criticism is still being made on its nature when any case comes up in court. Following are the four requirements that have been agreed upon by several law specialists to recognize the usage of self-defense in the modern day:

  • Unprovoked attack: it is the requirement that applies to the defendant in order to prove the validity of using the right of self-defense, and the defendant faced the unprovoked attack first.
  • Imminent danger: The second requirement requires the defendant to prove that the act against him/her was dangerous enough, which creates the scenario of using self-defense.
  • No other alternative: The defendant must also have proven that before using self-defense, the availability of other alternatives was not present during that time of the attack.
  • Reasonable fear: The fourth and last requirement states that the defendant must prove that the act of predator was dangerous enough to create the fear, and the fear leads to the use of self-defense.


In conclusion, self-defense should be considered the right of every person in order to protect himself/herself from any harm to her/her well-being. All four requirements are justifiable, but the act of using self-defense is being done unintentionally and unplanned, so the defendant will not be able to access other requirements in times of life-threatening situations.

Works Cited

Burnham, William. Introduction to the law and legal system of the United States. West Academic Publishing, 2016.



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