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Self Defense As A Defense
What is an affirmative defense?
An affirmative defense is an assertion to the charges against the person accompanied with a legal justification for carrying out the offense charged.
What is not an affirmative defense?
An affirmative defense does not dispute the facts underlying the charges against the person or negate a particular element of the offense charged.
What are the benefits of an affirmative defense?
An affirmative defense allows the person being charged to present evidence that reduces or eliminates his or her liability in order to obtain a dismissal or acquittal of the charges against him or her.
What is self defense?
Self defense is the right of a victim acting on his or her own behalf to use reasonable force in order to defend their own life or the life of others. In California self defense is an affirmative defense.
What are the requirements for a valid claim of self defense?
The victim must have held a reasonable belief that he or she was in danger of harmful or unlawful touching, serious bodily injury, or death. The threat the victim faced must have been imminent in order to justify the use of force. The victim must have held a reasonable belief that the use of force was necessary to neutralize the threat against him or her. The force that the victim used must have been reasonable under the circumstances.
What constitutes a reasonable use of force for purposes of self defense?
The use of force allowed in an affirmative defense of self defense is limited to the force necessary to prevent the threat from actually happening.
What offenses may a person assert self defense for?
A person charged of assault, assault with a deadly weapon, battery, aggravated battery, rape, domestic violence, or murder may assert self defense as an affirmative defense.
When is self defense not justified?
There is no justification for self defense after the immediate threat of danger has ended for the victim. It is important to note that after the threat has been neutralized, any use of force by the victim will be considered retaliatory and not self defense.
What is an imperfect self defense?
Imperfect self defense is when a person genuinely believed there was an imminent threat against him or her and that deadly force was necessary to neutralize such threat, but either or both of these believes were unreasonable. In California imperfect self defense is a partial affirmative defense.
What are the benefits of a partial affirmative defense?
A partial affirmative defense allows the person being charged for the unreasonable use of deadly force to present evidence in order to mitigate the sentencing that will be imposed for his or her conviction.
What offenses may a person assert imperfect self defense for?
A person charged with murder may assert an imperfect self defense.
If you have any questions about using self defense as a defense, please feel free to contact SAN DIEGO CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY VIK MONDER AT 619.405.0063 or visit SAN DIEGO CRIMINAL DEFENSE