Self-defense is a legal defense that can be used in criminal cases where the defendant used force to protect themselves or others from harm. If you’ve been charged with a crime of violence in the state of California, depending on the circumstances of your case, there is a strong chance you may have a valid defense against those charges. Read on and reach out to a seasoned Red Bluff criminal lawyer from Cohen Criminal Law to learn more about the self-defense laws in the state of California.
California’s Self-Defense Laws
California has a Castle Doctrine, which means that a person has the right to use deadly force to protect themselves or others in their home if they reasonably believe that they or someone else is in imminent danger of death or great bodily injury. However, this right does not extend to situations outside of the home.
Stand Your Ground
California does not have a Stand Your Ground law. This means that a person cannot use deadly force to protect themselves or others in a public place unless they reasonably believe that they or someone else is in imminent danger of death or great bodily injury.
Duty to Retreat
California has a duty to retreat law, which means that a person must retreat from a dangerous situation if they can do so safely before using deadly force to protect themselves or others. However, there are exceptions to this rule, such as when a person is in their home or workplace.
In California, a person can only use reasonable force to protect themselves or others. This means that the force used must be proportional to the threat faced. For example, a person cannot use deadly force to protect themselves from a minor threat.
Burden of Proof
If a person claims self-defense in a criminal case, the burden of proof is on the prosecution to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant did not act in self-defense. This means that the defendant does not have to prove that they acted in self-defense.
Importantly, if you’ve been charged with a crime of any kind, such as assault, domestic violence, or otherwise, you need to hire a competent attorney who can employ one of the aforementioned defenses to best protect your freedom and future. Contact Cohen Criminal Law today to schedule your free initial consultation with our firm so we can assess the circumstances of your charges and build a strong defense on your behalf.