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  1. #1

    Default Use of Non-Physical Forms of Self Defense in Response to Non-Physical Threats

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: Ohio

    Are there any laws on the books, or any legal maxim relating to the use of non-physical force in self-defense? All the self-defense discussions seem to address physical force (e.g., assault and battery), what about non-physical force used to protect against, say, a threat to one's liberty rather than physical integrity? What laws or rules on the book address non-physical force in response to liberty violations?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Use of Non-Physical Forms of Self Defense in Response to Non-Physical Threats

    What laws or rules on the book address non-physical force in response to liberty violations?
    Probably hundreds, if not thousands, depending on the circumstances and whether federal law or state law is involved and, if state law, what state.

    You're going to have to give an example if you expect anybody to make sense of your question.

    There are numerous definitions of force, including violent and non-violent force, and physical and non-physical force, emotional force, argumentative force, many more.

    And what do you mean by "a threat to one's liberty"?

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    Default Re: Use of Non-Physical Forms of Self Defense in Response to Non-Physical Threats

    The law in most places doesn't distinguish between physical and non-physical threats mostly. A verbal threat to harm somebody is as much assault as a physical.

    There are even a few (though this is tightly controlled based on the constitutional protections on free speech) crimes, where intent to do non-physical harm, is a crime, often involving some level of indecency.

    But understand, self-defense is an excusal of what might be considered a crime when necessary to prevent an injury. Neither retaliation nor mutual brawling/argument fits under the category of self-defense.
    Further, self-defense also doesn't equate to prosecuting or preventing crime other than when faced with imminent injury. I can't boobytrap my property to twart burglars. Nor can I go out on a vigilante mission to apprehend or punish those have committed crimes. This is the state's job.

    You're going to have to define what you claim is a "liberty violation."

  4. #4

    Default Re: Use of Non-Physical Forms of Self Defense in Response to Non-Physical Threats

    For example, if I were kidnapped, and commit the crime of 'inducing panic' (justifiable given the circumstances) and was subsequently prosecuted. Would I be able to say causing the public alarm was justified to try and free myself from the kidnapping and I should be acquitted?

    Or, I was being harassed by someone (non-physical harassment) and threatened to have them criminally prosecuted to try and defend myself from harm from the harassment? Or if someone was harassing me, and I harassed them back until they stopped (and could prove they harassed me first, and were the aggressor)?

    All these are 'self-defense' issues that don't fit the typical description of self-defense as a criminal defense. Most of what I see talks about lethal force, and assaults being used to defend against other assaults.

    If I use the above 'non-physical' forms of self-defense, what is the name of the affirmative defense I use to justify my actions and request and acquittal, dismissal of the charges, or not guilty verdict?

    Further, is there any statutory authority and statute on the books (especially in Ohio) that I can cite in case a public defender or prosecutor tried to lie to me?

    My concern is that I'll be charged with the crime (rather than the aggressor) through omission of material fact (that the other party was the 'cause' of the dispute or altercation). I need a contingency plan in case this happens. I can prove with hard evidence that my 'non-physical' use of force occurred in response to immediate, imminent and substantial threat.

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    Default Re: Use of Non-Physical Forms of Self Defense in Response to Non-Physical Threats

    For example, if I were kidnapped, and commit the crime of 'inducing panic' (justifiable given the circumstances) to try and free myself?
    You're going to have to explain what you mean by that.

    Or, I was being harassed by someone (non-physical assault) and threatened to have them criminally prosecuted?
    Harassment is not assault. This adds to the confusion when you bend the terms like this. Anyhow, unless you're trying to achieve some money or other personal gain from the person, threatening to report them to the police is not a crime at all. Of course, YOU can't have someone prosecuted. All you can do is make a complaint, it's up to the state in the form of the police, DA, and the courts to determine if the person is prosecuted.

    The law is not your elementary school sandlot. Being an aggressor or not neither makes a criminal activity nor excuses it.

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    Default Re: Use of Non-Physical Forms of Self Defense in Response to Non-Physical Threats

    Please explain what exactly is going on in your life that causes you to ask these sorts of questions on a public forum.

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    Default Re: Use of Non-Physical Forms of Self Defense in Response to Non-Physical Threats

    Quote Quoting theunrealthing
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    My concern is that I'll be charged with the crime (rather than the aggressor) through omission of material fact (that the other party was the 'cause' of the dispute or altercation). I need a contingency plan in case this happens. I can prove with hard evidence that my 'non-physical' use of force occurred in response to immediate, imminent and substantial threat.
    Tell us what happened between you and the other party and what charges you are concerned about.

    Then we'll have something to talk about.

    If you aren't willing to do that, all you can do is sweat it out and if you get charged, hire a defense attorney.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Use of Non-Physical Forms of Self Defense in Response to Non-Physical Threats

    Quote Quoting flyingron
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    You're going to have to explain what you mean by that.


    Harassment is not assault. This adds to the confusion when you bend the terms like this. Anyhow, unless you're trying to achieve some money or other personal gain from the person, threatening to report them to the police is not a crime at all. Of course, YOU can't have someone prosecuted. All you can do is make a complaint, it's up to the state in the form of the police, DA, and the courts to determine if the person is prosecuted.

    The law is not your elementary school sandlot. Being an aggressor or not neither makes a criminal activity nor excuses it.
    I realize harassment is not an 'assault' -- harassment is a blanket term that can be used to refer to ongoing pattern of many different crimes, including, stalking, assault, threats, etc.

    But what is the name of the affirmative defense, under a common law, or statute, that I would invoke in the above scenario, of uttering a verbal threat to report someone for crime, in order to get them to cease and desist from harassment?

    What would be the name of the affirmative defense I would invoke if I were charged for circulating a written report of an impending crime or catastrophe in order to defend against this catastrophe knowing it to be a legitimate threat or possibility?

    What would be the name of the affirmative defense I would invoke if I were charged with harassment for harassing someone in self-defense to try and get them to stop harassing me when the circumstances on their surface suggest self-defense?

    Is there a defense named "justifiable use of force" or "reasonable force" (I know police are allowed to use 'reasonable force' given the circumstances, but I don't see this used to apply to civilians). I see a lot of 'self-defense' discussions and they always refer to acts of physical assault, including justifable homicide, but rarely ever do they refer to self-defense used in instances of non-physical assault.

    We all know the rules intuitively -- 'force meets counterforce' and we have the right to use force proportionate to the force or threat being defended against, but I see no law, maxim, or principle on the books that I can invoke to enforce this right.

    I'm concerned if I invoke the classic 'self-defense' as an affirmative defense, the judge, prosecutor are going to harass me by saying some non-sense like that only applies to physical assault used in reaction to an imminent physical assault, or threat of bodily harm (i.e., not cases of liberty violations, such as defense or resistance to kidnapping).

    I can't reveal personal information for privacy reasons.

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    Default Re: Use of Non-Physical Forms of Self Defense in Response to Non-Physical Threats

    Here is some info on the AD of "Justification".

    http://edge.sagepub.com/sites/default/files/OH_08.pdf

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    Default Re: Use of Non-Physical Forms of Self Defense in Response to Non-Physical Threats

    Quote Quoting theunrealthing
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    I can't reveal personal information for privacy reasons.
    And I, for one, can't help you based on your non-specific array of questions and I doubt if anybody else can either.

    If you want to keep your situation private go pay a lawyer for a sit-down discussion and everything you tell him will be privileged.

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