How far can you go to protect yourself if someone verbally threatens your life or bring severe bodily harm? 20 Answers as of October 08, 2012

I have a friend that is in an abusive marriage. She has told me that there have been occasions where she has been afraid for her life to the point that she slept with a gun under her pillow. I have been giving my opinion to her on what she should do which would be to leave him before something even worse happens. He has found out about it and has called and threatened severe bodily harm or even death.

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Universal Law Group, Inc. | Francis John Cowhig
Your question is a little confusing. Are you being threatened by your friend's spouse. In either event, whoever is being threatened should file a complaint with your local police department. Your friend should also leave the relationship and also make a complaint with law enforcement.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/8/2012
Mace J. Yampolsky, LTD
Mace J. Yampolsky, LTD | Mace Yampolsky
Yes , file for a protective order.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 10/8/2012
Blough Law Office | Janis L. Blough
You can file a petition for a Persona Protection Order in the circuit court for the county where you live. There is no fee to file, and the Court may have a PPO Office which will help you fill out the paper work. That office will explain the process and what to do if he comes around contrary to the order.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 10/8/2012
Hamblin Law Office | Sally Hamblin
Bad situation. You did not mention if children involved. If not, she does need to leave, then get a restraining order. It would be a temporary one at first with just her testifying to the judge. There are domestic abuse hotlines and shelters. You may be right about her really being hurt. If she has already been abused, she can file a police report.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 10/8/2012
The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
How about calling the cops, both of you. Threat should go away as he gets arrested.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/8/2012
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    Obtain a protection order.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 10/8/2012
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC | Lacy Fields
    You and your friend should immediately get "Temporary Restraining Orders" and then "Full Orders of Protection." The police should be called every time he contacts either one of you. Self-defense is a very tricky legal issue and it should not be relied upon.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 10/8/2012
    Tobias Legal Advocacy, PLLC | Rachel Read Tobias
    If you call and report his threats to the police, he may be charged with felony harassment. Be very careful, though, because the repercussions of that are most likely to come back on your friend. I would recommend that you speak to a domestic violence advocate before doing anything. New Beginnings is a local organization that could help you help your friend in as safe a way as possible.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 10/8/2012
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    Many women will complain about their boyfriend or husband but never have the good judgment to leave them. Sometimes it is due to a lack of money or low self-esteem, or it could be that they have children with them. She may have told him about your advise and that is why he is now threatening you. Some men are bullies and will threaten others to get what they want. Making threats is illegal and you can have him arrested for harassment and get an Order of Protection. If she has a gun in the house with a violent husband she is either going to get shot or arrested for murder. Advise her to leave this man and get rid of the gun.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 10/8/2012
    Leonard A. Kaanta, P.C. | Leonard A. Kaanta
    You can only react to imminent threat to your life.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/8/2012
    Connell-Savela
    Connell-Savela | Jason Savela
    If you fear the threat, report it to police You can also apply for a civil protection order If you are about to be attacked you can use force to stop the attack - it must be reasonable in relation to what you fear as an imminent attack.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 10/8/2012
    Expert Bronx Criminal Lawyers
    Expert Bronx Criminal Lawyers | Alexander Sanchez
    This man is a dangerous individual, and it is just a matter of time before someone gets hurt. His wife should call her local domestic abuse hotline for advice, as well as the police. You can have him arrested for aggravated harassment for the threatening calls and obtain an order of protection. She can obtain an order of protection and have him barred from the home. Time is of the essence here. Act now before it is too late.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 10/8/2012
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    Call the police. Threats to kill are called felony harassment. Your friend needs to report the abuse and move out. She should move to a place with a confidential address and file for divorce.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 10/8/2012
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly | Brendan M. Kelly
    Get a protection order to prevent any harm.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 10/8/2012
    Mary W Craig P.C. | Mary W Craig
    She needs to leave and get to someplace safe, and then get a order of protection, but she also needs to understand that if he wants to violate it, he will. She needs to file a police report every time he threatens her because he needs to understand that he can't bully her into submission. Your friend is in a dangerous situation and needs to get out before something really bad happens to her.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 10/8/2012
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    She should leave and you should report any threats against you to the police. You can't shoot someone for just words but if they act on it and you are afraid of death or great bodily harm, then you can defend yourself even with deadly force.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/8/2012
    Lawrence Lewis
    Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
    She can shoot him, and then pray about the prosecutor not pursuing the charges. Or she can just divorce him. Whichever she finds easier.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 10/8/2012
    Attorney at Law | Michael P. Vollandt
    In California he has probably violated the law and probably a felony (Threatening a Crime). She should make a police report, leave this person and secret herself to keep her safe (Like the House of Ruth).
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/8/2012
    Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq.
    Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq. | Jeffrey Lawrence Pollock
    In some jurisdictions, there is a duty to retreat first. If one is in such a situation, she should file for a PFA immediately. If she is attacked, she can use self-defense reasonable to repel the harm that is threatened (without using, for instance, an assault rifle to defend one mere push).
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 10/8/2012
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger | James A Schoenberger
    She needs to get the heck out and file for a protective order. Also make a police report about the threats. j
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 10/8/2012
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