This is the situation, you're being mugged and instead of giving up your purse, you defend yourself-- either with a gun or by any means necessary.
What are your rights under the law?
The first thing to remember according to Cooley Law Professor Patrick Corbett is this--
"Under Michigan's new law you have no duty to retreat in any place you have a legal right to be."
That law, the Michigan Self Defense Act, was passed by lawmakers with this exact scenario in mind.
"As long as you're not the aggressor and you're coming in with clean hands and you honestly believe that deadly force is necessary, to prevent the imminent death or great bodily harm to you or to somebody else," Corbett continues. "The use of force is proportional, you don't have the duty to retreat, you can use deadly force anywhere you have a legal right to be."
"There's exceptions under the law, but this is clearly something the legislature intended in 2006 when they passed this law."
As Corbett hinted at there, if you're aiding someone else who's being attacked, their rights now become your rights under the law.
"If everything fits here but you're doing this deadly force to protect somebody else, it's the same as if you were defending yourself."
But as current events prove, just because you believe all those elements are there to allow you to kill someone else to defend yourself, there's always a prosecutor, a judge and a jury that can second guess your thought process.
"Think of this George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin case," says Corbett. "Whatever he thought, he's now facing murder in the 2nd degree charges. His thought process is being seriously challenged."