In Michigan, there is no requirement that "victims" must actually be hurt or struck by their assailants before defending themselves. In fact, striking first could very well give a "victim" the element of surprise which could result in ending the impending and potentially dangerous conflict safely and quickly.
A "victim" merely has to be reasonably afraid that an assailant is imminently putting them at risk of suffering great bodily harm, sexual assault, or death. The two key words of paramount importance are "reasonably" and "imminently."
Please keep in mind than any usage of force by the victim - up to and including lethal force - will be subject to an investigation by the local police department and the local prosecutor. Thusly, the victim and the victim's attorney must be able to clearly articulate why the preemptive attack was justified as opposed to undertaking another course of action.
Another consideration to keep in mind is that the "attacker" may have an opportunity to present another version of the incident to the authorities which could call into question the legality of your actions. Furthermore, there could also be objective evidence present at the scene which could lead to other conclusions: witnesses, video, and etc.
If the investigation of the totality of the circumstances does not support or justify self-defense the preemptive attack strike employed by the "victim" could result in criminal charges and a litany of dire consequences.
A preemptive strike is not a perfect one-size-fits-all solution for every situation, as it carries an element of risk which could potentially end badly for the "victim." However, it can be considered as another potential tool in your Personal Protection Plan.
About The Author
Rick Ector is a National Rifle Association credentialed Firearms Trainer, who provides Michigan CCW Class training in Detroit for students at his firearms school - Rick's Firearm Academy of Detroit.
Ector is a recognized expert in firearm safety and has been featured extensively in the national and local media: Associated Press, UPI, NRAnews, Guns Digest, Tactical-Life, The Truth About Guns, The Politics Daily, Fox News Detroit, The Detroit News, The Detroit Examiner, WJLB, WGPR, and the UrbanShooterPodcast.
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