Deadly Force: 3 Things You can do TODAY to Avoid Self-Defense Legal Struggles

When it comes to deadly force and self-defense law, get ahead of the curve:

Actions you can take today to avoid legal difficulties following the use of deadly force.


Daniel Crespo beat his wife Lyvette for the last time on on September 30th, 2014.  The punches he had rained down on her turned to their meek 19 year old son when he attempted to protect his mother.  That is when Lyvette shot her husband 3 times in the chest.  Soon after, he died at the hospital.

Currently, Crespo is under indictment for the shooting and whether or not Lyvette is guilty will most likely be left up to a jury.  A jury that will be walked through every facet of her life.  Including the text message to her husband where she threatened to kill his mistress.

 “I can give 25-life out of my life. That’s how much time I would do if I get fucking fed up [and] reach the point that I would seriously without a doubt kill that BITCH. Then it will really be over.”

This text message and the rest of tumultuous relationship may have little actual bearing on the case or on the verdict, but I have to ask one question:  Is there any way that this message could possibly help Lyvette Crespo’s case? I can’t see how…

I suppose only time will tell.  You can read more about the Crespo case here.

Every action has consequences.

It seems like common sense and yet so many people fail to take it into consideration.  Maybe it’s because folks fail to thing in the long term, or it could be that folks simply don’t understand what their priorities really should be.  I don’t know why people screw it up, but I do know this:

What you do matters!

When it comes to self-defense and the use of deadly force, it becomes particularly important to understand the consequences of your actions because the consequences of self-defense can be so severe.  The severity of the consequences make our actions intended to avoid those very consequences critical.

For the last four days I have been spending time with a group of 24 students and a fella named Massad Ayoob focusing on the decisions that people like you and I can make to help us navigate the complex legal situation that defending your life or the lives of other innocent people can lead to.

Today we are going to take a look at some of the things that I believe we can do BEFORE we ever end up in a self-defense situation to make sure the legals aspect goes as smoothly as it can.

Deadly forceKnow Self-Defense Law and the Laws of Deadly Force

The first step in avoiding problems in a specific area is to educate yourself as best as you can in that area.  If you want to be successful in winning a medical battle against a disease, your knowledge about that disease and your treatment options are likely to have a significant effect on the outcome.

It is no different with self-defense and the use of lethal force.  You need to understand the laws of the judicious use of deadly force so that you can be prepared for the attacks that may be mounted against you.

Many concealed carry classes teach the ins and outs of when and where you can carry a defensive handgun, however, almost as important is understanding when you can legally deploy your handgun against a threat.  This is rarely taught even by the most well meaning instructors and when the use of deadly force is taught it may not be taught well.

Beginning with an accurate understanding of what an appropriate response is to specific threats can go along way toward helping you develop the restraint that you need to avoid excessive force.  At the same time you need to understand when the time is when lethal force needs to be initiated so that you don’t delay action when you face a circumstance where fractions of a second could matter.

In addition, take the time to understand how it is that you will be judged should you be forced to use deadly force.  In self-defense, where does the burden of proof lie?  What are your responsibilities as far as proof?  What do you need to prove and to what level of certainty?

Taking the time to understand when and where you can carry your self-defense handgun, what the specific circumstances are that you can legally use a firearm or other tool of deadly force to protect yourself or others and how the situation will be judged should you ever face it can help you to make the right decisions and avoid legal difficulties that could otherwise be problematic for your criminal and civil defense.

Each year, Safety Solutions Academy hosts Massad Ayoob to help folks understand the important intricacies of self-defense laws.  You can find more information out about the MAG Courses that SSA Offers by following this link.

Live the Life You Want Portrayed on the Evening News

If you are forced to defend yourself or those that you love from a deadly threat, you may very well end up on the 5 o’clock, 6 o’clock and the news at 11.  Not just your picture.  All of your life.  The good, the bad and the ugly.  If the defensive shooting or lethal force encounter that you are involved in is polarized by any hot button issues it will probably only be the bad and the ugly.

No one is perfect, and your dirty laundry may be put on display for all to see.  It can cause issues for you, your career, your spouse, your children, your social life and theirs.

But think about this:  What if you started living the life you would want the world to see in a self-defense legal crisis TODAY.  It could have a profound effect on the outcome of legal proceedings brought against you and all other aspects of your life should you ever be placed in a position where you need to use lethal force to defend yourself or other innocent people.

Think about it.  If you do everything right in the lethal force situation AND you also lead a clean and wholesome life at home, in the community, at work and on-line, it is harder to imagine that you could commit a heinous illegal act, or behave in a negligent way and that could certainly help you to navigate through legal rough water.

There is an even better consequence to leading the good life.  It will benefit you every day.  Living a good life is its own benefit and will pay untold dividends to those that you love every day whether you ever are forced to defend yourself or face legal battles based on a self-defense situation.

Take a look at the article at this link.  The second to the last paragraph is exactly the kind of press you are after and if you lead a good life you are much more likely to get it.

Avoiding violence and deadly force pays the biggest dividend of all.

When ever you become yourself involved in violence you must accept the logic that you may face the consequences of violence.

Violence can:

  • Injure you, someone you love or other innocent people
  • Kill you, someone you love, or other innocent people
  • Have challenging social and emotional impacts on your life
  • Result in criminal and or civil legal proceedings.

Plain and simple, if you can avoid violence, it makes sense to because it means you also avoid the potential consequences of that violence.  The simple logic follows that you need to have a focus on the avoidance of violence.  If you are able to do so you may have caused a drastic increase in the quality of your life.  You will never know about your success, but you will live it.

The best way to avoid violence is to study methods of violence avoidance.  One of the best courses out there that teaches practical avoidance skills is Craig Douglas’ Managing Unknown Contacts.  Craig will be here in Cleveland October, 2-4 teaching his ECQC course and the first four hours of that course is MUC.  Although the course is full, students are able to drop in to the MUC course.  Comment below or contact me and we can get you the information you need to take this course.

Taking training in avoidance does two things:

  1. Helps you learn to avoid
  2. Demonstrates that you have a real desire to avoid

If for some reason you are unable to avoid violence and you find yourself dealing with legal challenges after the fact, a clear record in your desire to avoid violence could go a long way to show that you really would have preferred any alternative to having to defend yourself.

Massad Ayoob is the leading authority on the use of lethal force.  His book “Deadly Force” is the work that you need to read if you want to understand the use of deadly force and how to deal with the legal pitfalls that surround it.  Follow the link to get the information you need to be on the right side of the law.

Avoiding violence is your best bet, but…

Avoiding violence really is the best case scenario.  However, sometimes, violence comes looking for us.  In those cases we need to respond appropriately.  At the same time we must understand that our response can trigger challenges that continue long after the physical violent confrontation is over.  You can make decisions long before you ever face violence to help and reduce the legal difficulties that you may face as a result of violence and your subsequent use of force.  Even when you use deadly force.

If you know self-defense law, live the life today that you want the world to see if you were on trial and train for avoidance you will not only experience a simpler legal follow up to a use of deadly force, but you will also increase the quality of your life right now.

Get to it!

Here is what you should do next:

Thanks for taking the time to consider what I have to say!

-= Paul Carlson =-

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