Posted by Gurjit Srai In Criminal Defense June 15, 2016 0 Comment

Although self-defense can be a complicated issue, it may be a necessary defense in certain situations. If you or someone you know has been charged with a crime in which you were defending yourself or a third party from imminent serious bodily harm or death, your Fresno criminal defense attorney may use self-defense as a legal defense in your case.

When Is Self-Defense an Appropriate Defense?

In order to determine whether self-defense is appropriate as part of your criminal defense case, your attorney may focus on two things: 1) whether the amount of force you used to protect yourself was reasonable; and/or 2) whether you were truly protecting yourself or a loved one from death or serious bodily injury.

Self-defense is usually a defense that is used during a criminal proceeding to justify criminal battery or murder. Although this defense does not always suffice, several notable cases have successfully offered self-defense as a defense. One involved the case of Nancy Seaman (2004) she successfully use self-defense for killing her abusive husband. Another case involved that of Joan Little (1974), in which she successfully offered self-defense for killing a prison guard who was trying to rape her.

Defining Self-Defense

Self-defense is a complicated issue. As such, it is important to learn the particulars about this defense and what it entails to fully be able to protect yourself in the event that you are ever faced with an unfortunate circumstance.

Self-defense is broadly defined as protecting one’s self or property from a threat that poses imminent or immediate seriously bodily harm or death. Self-defense can also apply whenever a person protects another. However, under this third-party setting, it would be justified if the third party would have the right to self-defense as well as meeting the requisite elements.

The Elements of Self-Defense

Under California law, self-defense can be successfully used to avoid a conviction of homicide, battery and assault. In order to successfully use self-defense, your Fresno criminal defense attorney must be able to prove the following three elements:

  1. You reasonably believed that you were in immediate danger of serious bodily harm or death;
  2. You reasonably believed that the immediate use of the deadly force that you used was necessary to defend yourself against that danger; AND
  3. You only used enough force necessary to fend that danger.

If all three elements are met, you will be justified in your self-defense.

Call an Experienced Fresno Criminal Defense Attorney

If you or a loved one has been arrested for a crime, it is imperative that you immediately hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to help protect your legal rights and ensure that you have the best defense possible to avoid a criminal conviction and the resulting punishments.

For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with Fresno criminal defense attorney Gurjit Srai, please call us at (209) 323-5558 or (559) 449-1447, or complete our online form.