Who may defend?
As explained above, the law permits a person to defend him/herself, but a person may also defend another person or persons. The other persons may be family, loved ones, friends, or even complete strangers. Most states permit a person to defend another person with all the force that the other person would reasonably be allowed to use in his/her own defense.
One may justifiably intervene in defense of any person who is in actual or apparent imminent danger of death or serious bodily harm, and in so doing he/she may use such force as he/she has reason to believe, and does believe, necessary under the circumstances. The defender must be reasonable in his/her belief that the third party is in dire peril of death or serious bodily harm. The defender must also have a reasonable basis to believe that the force he/she uses is necessary to protect the apparent victim from the threatened harm. The defender has the burden of proving to jurors that he/she inflicted the injuries complained of while acting in defense of the third party within the foregoing principles.