• Brad Keating

How Do Stand your Ground Laws Work in Tennessee?

Many people don't know what "Stand your Ground" means. However, knowing that term could save a person from a dangerous situation in the future. If you are attacked by someone and that person intends to harm you or kill you, you have the right to defend yourself. The laws that give you that right are called Stand your Ground laws.


Those self-defense laws are not the same in every state of the U.S. Some of them apply similar laws with different conditions and circumstances that must be met for a person to defend themselves. In case you get involved in that kind of situation, you need an attorney who can explain everything to you.


Tennessee gives every person the right to claim self-defense if they get involved in this kind of problem. Regardless of that, there are some things you should know about the matter before claiming self-defense at a courthouse.


We are here to help you with any legal problem you have. Contact us as soon as you can to have a free consultation or help with filing an injury claim! Understanding self-defense laws is not as difficult as many think. Dive into this page to know more about the matter!


What Does Self-Defense Include?

What Does Self-Defense Include?


It's important to understand what self-defense means before trying to learn more about these laws. Self-defense consists of using force or other resources to defend yourself or preventing someone from hurting you or another person. That includes the use of deadly force.


Regardless of that, a person can't claim self-defense in all situations. In Tennessee, the law states that you can only use force in self-defense when certain circumstances are met. As it is in most countries and states, people can use force when they think they are in danger of being heavily injured or dying.


Considering that, a person can use self-defense force if they think doing it can keep another person from hurting them. The complex part about self-defense is that people can claim it when they have a reasonable belief that they are at risk of getting a serious bodily injury.


Reasonable beliefs can be right or wrong. However, even if you were wrong, you can claim self-defense in a penal or civil trial. You have to prove that you had that belief, though. Apart from that, it needs to be a reasonable belief that is logical under the circumstances you were in.


If a person claiming self-defense can prove that, they receive criminal and civil immunity. That applies even if they used deadly force. However, the conditions for that to happen vary depending on where you are.


Understanding More About Stand your Ground Laws


Now that you know what self-defense is about, it's time to learn more things about the laws that allow you to use it. This article only explains terms related to the Tennessee code, so what you read here may be different if you are in a different state. You can find information about it by reading Tenn. Code Ann § 39-11-611(b).


That being said, Tennessee doesn't have some regulations that other places do have. Some states only admit self-defense claims if the person making the claim tried to retreat before using defensive force. Considering that, those states limit the situations in which a person can use force intended to defend themselves.


The Tennessee code allows different things. For example, a person in a dangerous situation, such as a sexual offender attempting to harm them, doesn't need to retreat to claim self-defense in Tennessee. It's enough if you honestly believed you were in imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury. However, that belief needs to be based on reasonable grounds. Any person needs to tell all the information they have to their lawyer.


Your legal assistant needs to respect your attorney-client relationship, so make sure to tell them everything you know. Even if a person honestly believed they were in danger and used deadly force to prevent imminent death or a serious bodily injury, they need to prove they were in danger or that they were lead to believe they were.


Apart from that, you can't rely on the Stand your Ground Law in all situations. You can only use force to defend yourself if you feel that imminent danger in or at a property you own where you have the right to be at that moment.


When we say you have to be in or at your property, it means your household, business, or motorized vehicle. Regarding a person's livelihood, you can use defensive force when an unlawful and forcible entry happens.


It's important to know that defensive force also applies if the other person visiting your home is in imminent danger. That means that if someone forcibly enters your house and tries to harm your invited guest or a family member, you can try to protect them.


The law recognizes any place inside your house or an attached porch as a part of your livelihood. Self-defense in businesses works in a similar way. You can claim it when a forcible entry occurred in the interior and exterior premises of an establishment owned by you.


Naturally, Stand your Ground claims are different when they happen in a motorized vehicle. If someone forcibly entered your vehicle or leads you to believe you need to do something to prevent imminent death or serious bodily injury while being inside it, you can use force. That includes self-propelled vehicles and any car made to transport people through public highways.


Regardless of that, a person can't meet any of the conditions listed before if they were involved in any unlawful activity. That applies even if the person using defensive force knew they needed to do it to prevent imminent death or serious bodily injury from happening.


If you get involved in this kind of case and meet all the conditions listed above, you just have to prove that you weren't involved in any unlawful activity and that the danger-creating situations were enough to make you believe you could get hurt or die.


Many things could make you think you are in danger of imminent death or serious bodily injury, from gun violence to a verbal threat. Remember you can claim self-defense as soon as your beliefs are based on reasonable grounds. Yet, ask a law firm for legal advice if you have questions about your case.


The attorney-client relationship makes it illegal for lawyers to reveal what you told them even if it was an unlawful activity. Contact our firm if you want a reliable lawyer to treat your case.


What Is the Castle Doctrine?


The Castle Doctrine explains what makes it possible for you to use the Stand your Ground Law to defend yourself inside of your property. What this legal resource states is that a person can use force intended to cause death or serious bodily injury if they feel in danger inside their house, business, or car.


That includes any property or commercial enterprise under the owner's control. If a person resides inside your property or is an employee of yours, you are also protected by the law. Self-defense laws make protecting persons in your property legal, eliminating criminal charges even if you used deadly force.


You can rely on the Castle Doctrine in all the states in the U.S, so don't worry about that. The insurance company can help you get compensation if your property got damaged in the struggle. Yet, that only applies in some situations, so ask your lawyer if you can claim compensation for damage caused to your property.


Does Stand your Ground Laws Let Me Use Deadly Force Against a Law Enforcement Officer?

Does Stand your Ground Laws Let Me Use Deadly Force Against a Law Enforcement Officer?


Using force against a law enforcement officer is considered the use of unlawful force. However, that doesn't mean police officers can hurt you if they feel like it. If a police officer causes you a serious injury or directly threatens you, you can call your lawyer and sue them right away.


Regardless of that, make sure you don't harm them in any way.


Learn Everything You Need to Know About the Stand your Ground Law - Tennessee Lawyers Available


Do you want to learn more things about the Stand your Ground Law? Contact us to receive a free consultation of your case! We are here to serve clients who need justice and legal assistance. Don't hesitate to ask us any questions about the matter!


Keep in mind that what you read in this article applies only to Tennessee. That includes Knox County, Anderson County, Campbell County, and Blount County. You can count on us if you are a lawful resident of Tennessee.


It's difficult for any person in the world to make sure they have reasonable belief to think they are in danger. When those situations happen, people have no time to consider if the danger-creating situation is enough for a judge. However, we can help you address all those issues.

You can tell us everything we need to know about the case.


We can assure you your information is safe with us. Everything we do is to help you, so don't hesitate to call us!