We introduce defects into (1120) oriented highly N-doped 4H-SiC by surface scratching, bending and annealing in the brittle regime. Emerging defects at the sample surface are revealed by chemical etching of the deformed samples. The etch patterns are constituted of straight bulges and grooves exhibiting various topographical features. These etch figures correspond to the emergence of double stacking faults dragged by a pair of partial dislocations. In this paper, we discuss the links between the etch figure characteristics and the defect nature. Results obtained by optical and atomic force microscopy are completed by structural analysis of defects performed by transmission electron microscopy. Mobility of partial dislocations in 4H-SiC is discussed and correlated to their core composition and to the effect of the applied mechanical stress.