When two children get into a fight at school, and the teacher catches them, they typically both reply that the other person started it. When adults get into a physical conflict, many leap to the same reasoning, claiming that they acted in self-defense.
The use of physical force has much more severe consequences in adult life than it does in junior school. If the court convicts you of assault, they could send you to jail. On top of that, you will get a criminal record which may harm your ability to secure employment, education or housing in the future.
Self-defense can be a valid legal defense, yet only if you know how to deploy it
You do not have to wait until someone attacks you to take action. Under Colorado law, you are allowed to use physical force to protect yourself or others if the threat of physical violence is imminent. Precisely at what point that occurs is something you will need to debate in court. Prosecutors are likely to say the threat was not imminent, so you need to show them it was.
You also need to decide how much force to use. It can be difficult in a heated situation, yet, once again, if you face assault charges, the prosecution team may claim that you went beyond the level of force necessary for the situation.
Even deadly force may classify as self-defense if used to prevent someone from being killed or seriously injured or to stop someone from being physically harmed in a robbery, kidnapped or sexually assaulted.
The use of physical force can be necessary when in a difficult situation. Proving that you acted in self-defense will be critical to overturning any assault charges you face as a result.