What is the test for instructing a jury on a defense?

California, United States of America

The following excerpt is from People v. Lopez, H040272 (Cal. App. 2016):

A trial court must instruct, sua sponte, on a particular defense " '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. Barton (1995) 12 Cal.4th 186, 195.) Substantial evidence supporting a defense is "evidence sufficient for a reasonable jury to find in favor of the defendant . . . ." (People v. Salas (2006) 37 Cal.4th 967, 982.) We independently review an alleged failure to provide an instruction about a defense. (Cf. People v. Waidla (2000) 22 Cal.4th 690, 733 ["An appellate court applies the independent or de novo standard of review to the failure by a trial court to instruct on an uncharged offense that was assertedly lesser than, and included, in a charged offense."].)

Other Questions

Is a federal or state law error for failing to instruct on a requested affirmative defense instruction supported by substantial evidence? (California, United States of America)
What is the test for instructional error in instructing a jury to convict a defendant on imperfect defense of others? (California, United States of America)
Can defense counsel request further instructions to instruct the jury that the absence of mitigation is not an aggravating factor? (California, United States of America)
Does a court have a duty to instruct on the defense of others as a legal defense to assault? (California, United States of America)
Does the instruction that the jury was to follow the instructions if an attorney's comments appeared to be in conflict with the instructions apply? (California, United States of America)
What is a trial court's duty to instruct sua sponte on certain self-defense defenses? (California, United States of America)
Does the Attorney General have any authority or authority to instruct a jury to disregard an instruction in an assault case where the instruction had no antecedent in the facts? (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)
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)
What is the test for instructing a sua sponte on any defense including self-defense? (California, United States of America)

Alexi white

"The most advanced legal research software ever built."

Trusted by top litigators from across North America.