In my case, as least, the adversarial system worked. And in hind sight being tried and acquitted was probably better than not being charged. In some states, like Michigan, not being charged leaves the record open and it can never be expunged. It can follow you the rest of your life (it does anyway, but nice to close the official record.

Acquittal is final judgment. More over the state where I was tried had law providing for specific verdict in cases of self defense. I was not just acquitted because the prosecution couldn't prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. I was acquitted by a jury verdict that I had proved by preponderance of the evidence that I was in danger of being killed or great bodily harm, I did nothing to provoke or invite that danger and I used only the force reasonably necessary.

It is just like any other situation one may be have to survive. It helps to be equipped both mentally and physically. And like any other disaster, it isn't something I'd wish on anyone. I was a college student and apartment manager at the time, but before going to college had served 4 years in the Marines and been a small town police officer for a couple years. That training and experience prepared me for a situation where most other college students would have just become another violent crime statistic.

But I wasn't prepared to survive the legal battle that followed. I got lucky, and by serendipity, was socially acquainted with a good lawyer. I was also lucky to have the emotional and financial support of my employer and family.