If you ever find yourself in imminent danger of bodily harm from another human being and think you need to defend yourself, you basically have two main legal options. You can either stand your ground or you can exercise what is known as your “duty to retreat” in order to protect yourself. Just remember the decision you make here can be the difference between being acquitted at trial or spending many years behind bars.
Standing Your Ground
Choosing to stand your ground and possibly using deadly or excessive force means that you will have to prove it was necessary to do so in order to avoid serious bodily injury or harm. There have been many cases where it was cut and dry and the person claiming self defense had no other choice. Several factors such as lack of witnesses or low visibility due to weather or time of day, can make it tough on a jury and your fortune will hang in the balance.
Your Duty To Retreat
With that being said it is highly recommended that you always stay aware of your surroundings. That way if a situation comes up, you know if you have a way to avoid a confrontation. And once you have made it known to an aggressor that you are trying to leave and execute your “duty to retreat” by doing things like walking or running away, or announcing that you want to leave. Anything that happens in regards to a physical confrontation after your intentions to retreat will more likely be looked upon as self defense.
by Richelieu Williams