Self-Defense

California gives you the right to use force, including deadly force, to protect yourself from harm. If you lawfully acted in self defense, you cannot be convicted of a crime.

For self defense to apply, you must have acted reasonably for the circumstances. This includes a fear of injury or death, a belief that force was necessary to prevent it, and using no more force than was necessary. California is a stand your ground state meaning that you are not required to try to run away before using force.

In a self defense case, the prosecution has the burden of disproving self defense beyond a reasonable doubt. You do not need to prove anything nor do you have any obligation to present evidence. However, you will almost always want to present your side of the story in court. This may mean having your defense attorney aggressively cross examine prosecution witnesses, present additional witnesses and other evidence on your behalf, and discuss with you whether you should take the stand.

Need an experienced criminal defense attorney serving Shasta, Trinity, Tehama, Siskiyou, and Butte Counties to help you with a self defense claim? Call us to schedule a consultation today.