If you attack another person in Missouri, you may face assault and battery charges. Most people know that it is not legal to attack another person. There are exceptions, of course. A person can use self-defense to protect his or herself. The laws are not without complication, however. Do you know when the use of force is appropriate or when it is a crime? If you cannot justify your conduct, then you may face charges for a crime.
Missouri is a state with something known as castle doctrine. FindLaw defines Castle doctrine as an allowance for a person to use force if an intruder enters your home. Any time that an intruder disrupts the sanctity of the home, he or she intends to do you harm. This means that you can always protect yourself against an attack. If a person illegally enters another person’s property, you can use force.
If a person intends to harm you, steal from you or damage your property, you can use physical force to defend yourself and your property. In Missouri, you do not have to retreat. If a person enters your home or vehicle or if you are in a place where you have rights to be there, you do not have to run if you are in danger. Instead you can stay put and fight the person, if need be. You can use any means necessary to force the person to retreat. In self-defense, you may also use deadly force.
If a person is a threat to you or in your home, you have no duty to retreat and any subsequent attack is self-defense.
The above information is to explain self-defense. It is not intended to be legal advice.