Note that a person can use lethal force in self-defense, even if they were the original attacker. It is assumed that the person tried (but ultimately failed) to end the fight.15 Example: Isabelle comes home from a bar at night. Suddenly, a customer at the bar runs after her, grabs her, starts petting her and says she`s going to «enjoy it». It`s probably justified self-defense if Isabelle grabs a nearby bottle, breaks it and stabs the customer with it – and kills him. The laws of at least six states (Hawaii, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Dakota and Tennessee) affirm that civil remedies are not affected by the criminal provisions of self-defense. Have you or a family member been wrongly accused? For additional advice or to discuss your case with a criminal defence lawyer, we invite you to contact us at Shouse Law Group. Our California defense attorneys offer free consultations. Note that the castle doctrine is a set of laws in California that apply to the situation where people use self-defense in their homes. Under this doctrine, a person can: A competent lawyer can assess your unique situation and educate you on when self-defense can be used as a legal defense. A person who has been threatened or harmed by someone in the past has the right to act more quickly or to take significant self-defence against that person.7 If the jury finds that the defendant acted in imperfect self-defence, the charge will be reduced by: Example: It is unreasonable for Jenny to stab Doug if he tells her: Let him hate them. The knife attack is more powerful than was reasonably necessary. A danger is considered imminent when there is an immediate or present threat.

This is when a threat occurs right in front of someone. An imminent danger cannot refer to something that may or may not happen in the future.2 In addition to using lethal force to defend their own home, a person can legally use that force to defend themselves if: This means that a person in California does not have to try to flee danger to invoke self-defense. He has the right to assert himself and to defend himself. This is true even though security could have been provided by the withdrawal.8 Note: State laws can always change through new laws, higher court rulings (including federal decisions), election initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most up-to-date information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to review the state laws you are seeking. A person can invoke self-defence even if he or she was the aggressor in a fight. However, it can only do so if: If you have been arrested or charged with violence against another person, but have only protected yourself, you must immediately contact a qualified defence lawyer. Your lawyer can determine if you have a valid legal defense and determine that you stood your ground or simply protected yourself without more force than is reasonably necessary. Example: Jerome taunts Marcos, pushes him, then goes to hit him. Marcos has the right to use force before Jerome can strike.

He faces an immediate threat that occurs right in front of him. Also note that the legal doctrine of «intent transferred» applies in cases of self-defense/battery in California. This doctrine states that a person may use self-defense as a legal defense when defending himself, another person («defending another») and his property. That means a lot of violence that a reasonable person would consider necessary in the circumstances. If the defendant used more force than was appropriate, he or she did not legitimately defend himself.6 In the State of California, you have the right to act in self-defense if you have reason to believe that you or someone else could be harmed. However, you can be arrested and charged for your violent or illegal acts. If you are criminally charged for defending yourself or others, you should immediately hire an aggressive and highly trained defense attorney to protect your rights.