Articles Posted in Self Defense

Under California Penal Code § 240 it is illegal to make an unlawful attempt, coupled with a present ability, to commit a violent injury on the person of another. Assault, unlike battery, does not have to actually result in injury. It merely has to be an ATTEMPT to harm another.

For example, Dan is at a bar. He has one too many drinks and finds himself in a heated argument with Victor. He goes to punch Victor in the face, but Victor ducks and Dan ends up hitting the wall. Dan can be charged with assault, because his intention was to punch Victor, he attempted to do it, and if Victor hadn’t ducked, he would have successfully injured him.

There are available defenses for a person who has been charged with assault. One of the most popular is self defense. An experienced Los Angeles Criminal Defense attorney can assess which defense would be strongest for your case. It is necessary to be sure the defense is applicable before a powerful argument is prepared.

Self Defense is a defense that may be applicable in certain Los Angeles criminal cases. If a successful self defense assertion can be made, then it provides a complete defense and the case may be dismissed.

In order for self defense to be an appropriate defense, several elements must be met. First and foremost, you must believe that you are in imminent danger. The standard that is used, is that of the reasonable person. The Court will look to determine if a reasonable person in your situation would feel that they were in imminent danger.

For example, let’s say that Dan sends Victor an email saying ” I hate you, I am going to kill you”. Victor then takes his gun, goes over to Dan and shoots him. Victor does not have a self defense argument. When Dan sent the email, he was not in the same room as Victor, and Victor had no reason to believe that his life was in imminent danger. The reasonable person in Victor’s situation would not have believe there was any immediate harm to his well being and therefore, the first element of self defense would not be met.