A 21 year old is jumped by 5 or 6 minors ages 15 and up, is the 21 year old allowed to use a knife in self-defense?

UPDATED: Nov 26, 2017

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A 21 year old is jumped by 5 or 6 minors ages 15 and up, is the 21 year old allowed to use a knife in self-defense?

The group jumping the adult is over powering
him, the minors have no weapon but the adult is
getting beaten. Is use of a weapon ok in the
state of PA?

Asked on November 26, 2017 under Criminal Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Yes, it would be. Potentially lethal force may be used to defend against potentially lethal force. A group of 5 - 6 15 year olds (or older) is easily capable, even unarmed, of inflicting crippling or lethal injury (e.g. blunt force trauma to the head); therefore, a knife may be used in defense.

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