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Self-Defense

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To establish self-defense in the use of non-deadly force in Ohio, the accused must prove three things by a preponderance of the evidence:

1. The accused did not create the situation giving rise to the altercation;

2. The accused had an honest belief and reasonable grounds to believe, even if it was mistaken belief, that some force was necessary to defend themselves against the imminent use of unlawful force;

3. The force used was not likely to cause death or great bodily harm.

Failure to prove any one of these elements and self-defense does not apply.

Pure self-defense is not as easy to prove as many clients may think. Many times the accused will be at fault, to some degree, in creating the situation giving rise to the altercation.