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California Criminal Jury Instructions
Volume 1
Series 500

 HOMICIDE
B. JUSTIFICATIONS AND EXCUSES


 

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California Criminal Jury Instructions
Volume I
Series 500 HOMICIDE

B. JUSTIFICATIONS AND EXCUSES

CALCRIM No. 505

505. Justifiable Homicide:
Self-Defense or Defense of Another


 



 

441, 841 P.2d 961] [in rape prosecution, no mistake-of-fact instruction was required where two sides gave wholly divergent accounts with no middle ground to support a mistake-of-fact instruction].)

No Defense for Initial Aggressor

An aggressor whose victim fights back in self-defense may not invoke the doctrine of self-defense against the victim’s legally justified acts. (In re Christian S. (1994) 7 Cal.4th 768, 773, fn. 1 [30 Cal.Rptr.2d 33, 872 P.2d 574].) If the aggressor attempts to break off the fight and communicates this to the victim, but the victim continues to attack, the aggressor may use self- defense against the victim to the same extent as if he or she had not been the initial aggressor. (Pen. Code, § 197, subd. 3; People v. Trevino (1988) 200 Cal.App.3d 874, 879 [246 Cal.Rptr. 357]; see CALCRIM No. 3471, Right to Self-Defense: Mutual Combat or Initial Aggressor.) In addition, if the victim responds with a sudden escalation of force, the aggressor may legally defend against the use of force. (People v. Quach (2004) 116 Cal.App.4th 294, 301–302 [10 Cal.Rptr.3d 196]; see CALCRIM No. 3471.)

Transferred Intent Applies

“[T]he doctrine of self-defense is available to insulate one from criminal responsibility where his act, justifiably in self-defense, inadvertently results in the injury of an innocent bystander.” (People v. Mathews (1979) 91 Cal.App.3d 1018, 1024 [154 Cal.Rptr. 628]; see also People v. Curtis (1994) 30 Cal.App.4th 1337, 1357 [37 Cal.Rptr.2d 304].) There is no sua sponte duty to instruct on this principle, although such an instruction must be given on request when substantial evidence supports it. (People v. Mathews, supra, 91 Cal.App.3d at p. 1025; see also CALCRIM No. 562, Transferred Intent.)

Definition of “Imminent”

In People v. Aris (1989) 215 Cal.App.3d 1178, 1187 [264 Cal.Rptr. 167], overruled on other grounds in People v. Humphrey (1996) 13 Cal.4th 1073, 1089 [56 Cal.Rptr.2d 142, 921 P.2d 1], the jury requested clarification of the term “imminent.” In response, the trial court instructed:

“Imminent peril,” as used in these instructions, means that the peril must

have existed or appeared to the defendant to have existed at the very time the fatal shot was fired. In other words, the peril must appear to the defendant as immediate and present and not prospective or even in the near future. An imminent peril is one that, from appearances, must be instantly dealt with.

(Ibid.)

 

 




New January 2006

 

 

 

232.

 

CALCRIM No. 505. Justifiable Homicide: Self-Defense or Defense of Another Page 227
CALCRIM No.
505. Justifiable Homicide: Self-Defense or Defense of Another Page 228
CALCRIM No. 505. Justifiable Homicide: Self-Defense or Defense of Another Page 229
CALCRIM No. 505. Justifiable Homicide: Self-Defense or Defense of Another Page 230
CALCRIM No. 505. Justifiable Homicide: Self-Defense or Defense of Another Page 231
CALCRIM No. 505. Justifiable Homicide: Self-Defense or Defense of Another Page 232
CALCRIM No. 505. Justifiable Homicide: Self-Defense or Defense of Another Page 233

 

(Pub 1284)

 

Copyright 2008 Judicial Council of California. 

 

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