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Self-Defense Laws in Seattle, Washington

Posted by Steve Karimi | Apr 29, 2020 | 0 Comments

While some crimes are undoubtedly committed out of malice, there are certain instances in which a person must take action in order to protect himself from harm by another person. If you have been charged with a violent crime in Seattle and believe that you were forced to act out of self-defense, it's critical to speak with a seasoned criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. 

Use of Force Laws in Washington State

In some circumstances--including that of self-defense--a person cannot be charged with a crime for using force against another person. Washington state's use of force laws outline that using or attempting to use force in self-defense or defense of another person is not unlawful. In other words. In other words, if a person charged with a force-related crime can show that the person only used force in order to protect themselves or someone else who was about to be harmed, the person will have a defense to their charge. 

Self-Defense in Seattle

In some cases, a person who faces danger must act with force against another person in order to protect themselves from that person's violence. Washington's self-defense law states that a person shall not be placed in any form of legal jeopardy as a result of protecting himself or herself from imminent danger of a violent crime such as assault, robbery, burglary, rape, or murder. If you were the victim or attempted victim of a violent crime and are now facing charges yourself for actions you took to protect yourself, you may be able to claim self-defense, which would protect you from the charge. 

Reimbursement of Costs in a Self-Defense Case

If you are charged with a violent crime in Seattle and believe that you acted in self-defense, it isn't fair for you to have to drain your finances to prove your innocence. The state of Washington recognizes and addresses this unfairness in its self-defense statute. The law states that "[w]hen a person charged with [a crime] is found not guilty by reason of self-defense, the state of Washington shall reimburse the defendant for all reasonable costs . . . ." The statute outlines reasonable costs as:

  • Time that a defendant has lost as a result of being charged with the crime;
  • Legal fees incurred as a result having to hire an attorney to defend against the charge and prove self-defense; and
  • Any other expenses involved as a result of defending against the charge. 

Charged with a Crime in Seattle? Steve Karimi Can Help

If you have been charged with a crime in Seattle and believe that you were forced to act out of self-defense, it's critical to speak with a seasoned criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Whether you are faced with a charge of assault, domestic violence, homicide, or another violent crime, Seattle criminal defense attorney Steve Karimi has the knowledge and experience that you need to defend against your charge. To speak with a member of the Karimi legal team about your charge, fill out an online case evaluation form or call (206) 621-8777 today. 

About the Author

Steve Karimi

Steve Karimi attended Pepperdine University School of Law. After graduation he worked as a prosecutor in Seattle where he gained valuable insight to the criminal justice system. Attorney Karimi uses his experiences as a prosecutor everyday only now he fights for the justice of those accused.


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If you were arrested or a loved one has been charged with a crime in Seattle or surrounding areas of Washington State, the Law Offices of Steve Karimi can help. Call 206-660-6200 24 hours a day for a free consultation.

Seattle Defense Lawyer

Named a "rising star" in criminal defense by Washington Law and Politics magazine, Mr. Karimi is a former prosecutor for King County who uses his insight into prosecution strategies to protect his clients' rights in criminal court.