What is the test for a defense of self-defence?

California, United States of America

The following excerpt is from People v. Chanthachem, C083435 (Cal. App. 2018):

"A trial court must instruct the jury on every theory that is supported by substantial evidence, that is, evidence that would allow a reasonable jury to make a determination in accordance with the theory presented under the proper standard of proof. [Citation.] We review the trial court's decision de novo." (People v. Cole (2004) 33 Cal.4th 1158, 1206.) "A trial court's duty to instruct, sua sponte, on particular defenses ' "arises only if it appears that the defendant is relying on such a defense, or if there is substantial evidence supportive of such a defense and the defense is not inconsistent with the defendant's theory of the case." ' " (People v. Maury (2003) 30 Cal.4th 342, 424.) "Evidence is substantial if a reasonable jury could find the

Page 5

existence of the particular facts underlying the instruction." (People v. Lee (2005) 131 Cal.App.4th 1413, 1426.)

"To justify an act of self-defense. . . , the defendant must have an honest and reasonable belief that bodily injury is about to be inflicted on him. [Citation.]" (People v. Goins (1991) 228 Cal.App.3d 511, 516, italics omitted.)

Other Questions

Is a mistake-of-fact defense defense defense harmless? (California, United States of America)
What is the legal test for a defense counsel to pursue an innocence defense rather than a voluntary intoxication defense? (California, United States of America)
Is the statute of limitations defense a "favored or disfavored" defense? (California, United States of America)
Can defense counsel argue that defense counsel failed to object to the foregoing procedure or request that written instructions be provided to the jury? (California, United States of America)
In what circumstances will a defense counsel be required to rest his case without putting on a defense? (California, United States of America)
When a prosecutor asks a defense counsel a question in voir dire about rape and sexual assault, is the defense counsel's failure to object to the questions? (California, United States of America)
When will a trial court instruct the jury on the defense of unconsciousness and self-defense in a case of involuntary manslaughter? (California, United States of America)
Is a prosecutor's comment that defense counsel was seeking to "distract the jury from the evidence as an attack on counsel's integrity a fair response to defense counsel's remarks? (California, United States of America)
Does a prosecutor have the authority to imply that defense counsel fabricated a defense? (California, United States of America)
In what circumstances will the court require a defense counsel to object to a motion where the trial atmosphere was poisonous, and the defense counsel did not object at all? (California, United States of America)

Alexi white

"The most advanced legal research software ever built."

Trusted by top litigators from across North America.