Clifton NJ Self-Defense Lawyer
Criminal Defense Attorney in Passaic County, New Jersey
Experienced criminal defense attorney Alissa D. Hascup represents clients throughout New Jersey, including Clifton, Belleville, Wayne, Paterson, and Passaic that have been charged with criminal offenses such as terroristic threats, criminal sexual contact, and homicide.
She has successfully handled thousands of cases in New Jersey, in Superior Court (indictable/felony level offenses) and Municipal Court (disorderly persons/misdemeanor level offenses). She is a former Assistant Prosecutor, who handled a host of cases during her career, ranging from sexual assault to weapons offenses. Ms. Hascup also handled a number of cases where various defenses were raised at the time of trial, including self-defense.
In cases where there may be valid defenses to your criminal actions because you were acting in self-defense, it is critical that you hire an experienced lawyer who will act quickly and aggressively. Criminal defense lawyer Alissa D. Hascup will attack the state’s case and fight zealously to put you in a position to achieve the best possible result. Contact her offices anytime for an initial consultation, which is always provided free of charge.
Self-Defense in New Jersey: N.J.S.A. 2C:3-4
Defenses – Use of Force in Self-Protection (“Self Defense”). N.J.S.A. 2C:3-4 provides:
a. Use of force justifiable for protection of the person. Subject to the provisions of this section and of N.J.S.A. 2C:3-9, the use of force upon or toward another person is justifiable when the actor reasonably believes that such force is immediately necessary for the purpose of protecting himself against the use of unlawful force by such other person on the present occasion.
b. Limitations on justifying necessity for use of force.
1. The use of force is not justifiable under this section:
a. To resist an arrest which the actor knows is being made by a peace officer in the performance of his duties, although the arrest is unlawful, unless the peace officer employs unlawful force to effect such arrest; or
b. To resist force used by the occupier or possessor of property or by another person on his behalf, where the actor knows that the person using the force is doing so under a claim of right to protect the property, except that this limitation shall not apply if:
i. The actor is a public officer acting in the performance of his duties or a person lawfully assisting him therein or a person making or assisting in a lawful arrest;
ii. The actor has been unlawfully dispossessed of the property and is making a reentry or recaption justified by N.J.S.A. 2C:3-6; or
iii. The actor reasonably believes that such force is necessary to protect himself against death or serious bodily harm.
2. The use of deadly force is not justifiable under this section unless the actor reasonably believes that such force is necessary to protect himself against death or serious bodily harm; nor is it justifiable if:
a. The actor, with the purpose of causing death or serious bodily harm, provoked the use of force against himself in the same encounter; or
b. The actor knows that he can avoid the necessity of using such force with complete safety by retreating or by surrendering possession of a thing to a person asserting a claim of right thereto or by complying with a demand that he abstain from any action which he has no duty to take, except that:
i. The actor is not obliged to retreat from his dwelling, unless he was the initial aggressor; and
ii. A public officer justified in using force in the performance of his duties or a person justified in using force in his assistance or a person justified in using force in making an arrest or preventing an escape is not obliged to desist from efforts to perform such duty, effect such arrest or prevent such escape because of resistance or threatened resistance by or on behalf of the person against whom such action is directed.
3. Except as required by paragraphs (1) and (2) of this subsection, a person employing protective force may estimate the necessity of using force when the force is used, without retreating, surrendering possession, doing any other act which he has no legal duty to do or abstaining from any lawful action.
1. Notwithstanding the provisions of N.J.S.A. 2C:3-5, N.J.S.A. 2C:3-9, or this section, the use of force or deadly force upon or toward an intruder who is unlawfully in a dwelling is justifiable when the actor reasonably believes that the force is immediately necessary for the purpose of protecting himself or other persons in the dwelling against the use of unlawful force by the intruder on the present occasion.
2. A reasonable belief exists when the actor, to protect himself or a third person, was in his own dwelling at the time of the offense or was privileged to be thereon and the encounter between the actor and intruder was sudden and unexpected, compelling the actor to act instantly and:
a. The actor reasonably believed that the intruder would inflict personal injury upon the actor or others in the dwelling; or
b. The actor demanded that the intruder disarm, surrender or withdraw, and the intruder refused to do so.
3. An actor employing protective force may estimate the necessity of using force when the force is used, without retreating, surrendering possession, withdrawing or doing any other act which he has no legal duty to do or abstaining from any lawful action.
NOTE: Evidence of domestic abuse is generally considered relevant to a claim of self-defense. Therefore, defendants are entitled to an instruction directing the jury to consider the domestic-abuse evidence on the question of reasonable belief. See State v. Tierney, 356 N.J. Super. 468, 478 (App. Div.), certif. den. 176 N.J. 72 (2003).
Contact a Wayne NJ Self-Defense Lawyer for a Free Consultation
Criminal defense attorney Alissa D. Hascup knows the nuances of the law and the defenses that can be raised to fight certain charges. She will use her knowledge to your advantage. If you find yourself in a situation where you or a loved one have been charged with a criminal offense as a result of a domestic violence or other related incident in which the actor was acting in self-defense, there may be a valid defense. Don’t delay in hiring legal representation – protect your rights. Contact the office of Alissa D. Hascup in Little Falls, New Jersey. Fill out her contact form to schedule a free consultation. Ms. Hascup will fight for you.