LEGAL GUIDE
Written by attorney Aaron Todd Hicks | Apr 16, 2012

Self-Defense may be raised as a valid defense against many criminal charges in San Diego, California

What is a valid Self-Defense claim?

In San Diego, California, a valid self defense claim may arise if you: a) reasonably believe that you are in imminent danger of being killed, seriously injured, or unlawfully touched, b) believe that immediate force is necessary to prevent that danger, and c) use no more force than necessary to defend against that danger.

California also follows the majority of jurisdictions, which allows a Defendant to raise a self-defense claim against criminal charges as a rebuttal to the prosecution’s evidence. The burden of proof does not shift and the prosecutor must still prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. The Defendant does not have the burden to prove self-defense by a preponderance of the evidence.

How is self-defense established at trial? The Defendant may choose to take the stand and tell their side of the story. The court can also notify the jury with an instruction if it appears that the Defendant is relying upon a self-defense claim. What are some of the types of charges in which a self-defense claim may be raised in San Diego, California? Most are violent crimes under the California Penal Code - Domestic Violence (Penal Codes 273.5 and 243(e)(1)), Battery (Penal Code 242), Assault (Penal Code 240), Assault with a Deadly Weapon (Penal Code 245(a)(1), Resisting Arrest (Penal Code 148), Murder (Penal Code 187).

A common example that arises is that when two people become engaged in a fight. Oftentimes the person who initiates the fight will end up losing the fight and suffering injuries. The person that was defending him or herself is arrested because the cops show up and the person who started it has the injuries and the real victim goes to jail. That person arrested can raise a self-defense claim against someone who was attacking them.

Another common situation is during a Domestic Violence situation. The aggressor may begin to attack their spouse or person they are dating and the victim will fight back to defend themselves, ultimately causing injuries to the aggressor. The aggressor scared that they may go to jail or lose custody of their children, will call the police and tell a completely different story when the police arrive. The police hear the aggressor’s story and see the injuries and the real victim is the one who goes to jail.

It is therefore vastly important that should you be facing something of this nature that you do not hesitate to secure legal representation from an aggressive and heavyweight criminal defense attorney. These cases have been placed heavily in media attention and therefore prosecutors and law enforcement alike are under extreme pressure to penalize the defendants. If you believe that you are the true victim of an attack and believe that you have a valid claim of self-defense against your criminal charges in San Diego, it is imperative that you contact a local and experienced Criminal Defense lawyer who is familiar with the ins and outs of the San Diego criminal court system.

Do not let one innocent act turn into a criminal charge that haunts you for the rest of your life. Your future is on the line – you need to be confident that you are doing everything possible to defend and protect your legal rights. So do not waste another moment – contact a San Diego criminal defense attorney that you can trust to help you defend your freedom.

Additional resources provided by the author

The Law Offices of Aaron T. Hicks is a criminal defense law firm located in San Diego, California. This firm has proven over the years that quality legal representation does not need to be equivalent to exorbitant prices and has worked exhaustively to pair excellence with affordability. Should you choose to work with a San Diego criminal defense attorney from this firm, you will be able to experience the difference that a heavyweight advocate can make. Instead of the detached and apathetic legal assistance of so many other firms, you will be able to enjoy personalized answers, a responsive attitude and a true desire to help you in your time of need. To learn more, please contact The Law Offices of Aaron T. Hicks today by calling at 619-940-5566.

Rate this guide


Can’t find what you’re looking for?


Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer