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Understanding Arizona self-defense laws

Arizonans are often very protective of their family and property. If a perpetrator threatens either, they may want to fight or even kill the person allegedly responsible.

In scary situations like this, Arizonans may utilize a variety of methods to fend off a suspected culprit. However, state laws often vary on what types of self-defense are and are not legal.

Justification statute and the castle doctrine

Here in Arizona, there is something called a justification statute, which is very similar to “stand your ground” policies in other states. The statute says a person can use unlawful physical force against a perpetrator if a reasonable person believes the alleged victim needed to do so to escape an undesirable situation.

Arizona law also grants certain self-defense protections under the “castle doctrine.” This doctrine can allow the legal owners of a home or vehicle to protect themselves against an intruder if they feel threatened.

State also gives leeway when protecting others

Arizona citizens can also protect others using unlawful force. Depending on the circumstances, the law can allow people to attack and sometimes fatally hurt someone to stop specific criminal acts like rape, murder or armed robbery.

When such actions become illegal

While the state may allow a person to threaten or even attack an alleged perpetrator, some actions could violate Arizona law. Here are some instances that are often considered illegal:

  • The perpetrator is only making verbal threats, but not acting upon them.
  • Resisting arrest by a police officer, even if the detainment is unlawful or the officer is using excessive force.
  • When the person using unlawful physical force was the one who initiated the attack.

People deserve to protect their loved ones

Most people don’t look to get in an unlawful altercation. But when unfortunate situations arise, many Arizonans often do everything they can to protect themselves and their loved ones from harm. That’s why they must understand the state’s self-defense statutes.

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Lane, Hupp & Crowley
111 W Monroe St Ste. 1216, Phoenix, AZ 85003
(480) 562-3482


If you have been charged with a DUI, drug charge, sex crime or any serious criminal offense, let an experienced defense team fight for you. Schedule a consultation with one of our partners today. Call (480) 562-3482 or send an email.