In this article we will review and refute common myths about self-defense, the use of weapons for self-defense, and the legal regulation of these issues.
What is the necessary defense?
Necessary self-defense is defined in the article 37 of the Criminal code of the Russian Federation.
Necessary defense is the infliction of harm to the attacker when protecting one`s life and health. The actions of the defender to protect their life and health should not exceed the level of necessary self-defense.
It is not condered a crime or exceeding the limits of necessary self-defense when:
- the harm is caused when the attack was accompanied by violence that is dangerous for the life of the defender or to the life of the third person.
- If the defender could not objectively assess the degree of danger.
Self-defense must be correlated with the nature and degree of danger of the situation.
MYTH: Until the attacker causes physical damage, it is forbidden to defend yourself
In paragraph 2 of article 37 of the Criminal code it`s stated that "Protection against violence or in immediate danger of such violence is not considered as exceeding the limits of necessary defense". That is, if there is a threat of violence, self-defense is allowed, but the actions of the defender must not have dangerous consequences for the attacker`s life and health.
Thus, if the perpetrator demonstrates intent to use a weapon, you have the right for self-defense.
MYTH: You are only allowed to defend yourself. The protection of others will be recognized as exceeding the necessary defense
Article 37 of the Criminal code of the Russian Federation refers to "the protection of one`s rights or the rights of other persons", the use of force to protect others during an attack is allowed. The legality of defense will be evaluated by the law in the same way as if criminal actions were directed at you.
MYTH: If a person stops attacking or their weapon is taken away, self-defense ends
This and the following paragraph of the article is justified by The resolution of the Plenum of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation of 27.09.2012 N 19 "On the use of the legislation on necessary defense and causing harm when detaining a person who has committed a crime".
Paragraph 8 States that it is not considered an excess of necessary self-defense if:
1) the attack has ended, but the defending person could not clearly assess the situation and mistakenly believed that it was continuing;
2) the attack stopped, but did not end. It was clear to the defending person that the attack would continue when the situation became favourable.
MYTH: Self-defense is allowed, but detaining an attacker is not
Paragraph 19 of the Plenum of the Supreme court States that persons who have suffered or witnessed a crime also have the right to detain the attacker.
The main difficulty is not to exceed the limits of necessary defense during detention and not to cause harm to the offender that is not comparable with the danger of the crime.
Article 38 of the Criminal code of the Russian Federation covers the aspect of causing harm to a criminal during detention.
MYTH: The criminal code does not contain an article on punishment for exceeding the limits of necessary defense
The criminal code contains an article (114) on causing serious or moderate harm to health when exceeding the limits of necessary defense. It also determines the penalty for intentionally causing harm to the offender during detention.
Article 108, in turn, defines the penalty for wurder committed when exceeding the limits of necessary defense or during the detention of the intruder.
Citizens have the right for self-defense, as well as the right to carry civilian self-defense weapons. The responsibility of a citizen is not to exceed the permissible level of necessary defense, since it is not uncommon for the defender to be convicted of using disproportionate force against the attacker.
We discussed how to choose an effective weapon in the article Choosing the best stun gun.
For more useful information, see the blog of the self-defense weapon developer OBERON-ALPHA:
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