Self Defense is a possible defense when a defendant is charged with a violent crime such as:battery, assault with a deadly weapon, assault with intent to commit serious bodily injury, manslaughter and murder. The force used in the self defense must be reasonable under the circumstances. For instance if the defendant get's punched in the face, killing the aggressor with a machine gun is too much force and a jury will reject the self defense argument.
It's best to have an experienced San Francisco Criminal Defense Attorney argue this defense for you because of the many nuances involved in self defense. For instance a defendant can use self defense even if he or she hits the complaining witness first. For instance if the defendant has a legitimate belief that the complaining witness is about to stike him, the accused has the right to hit first to defend himself or herself.
A defendant who argues that he or she hit the complaining witness out of self defense may be able to bring evidence to court showing that the complaining witness is a violent person. The accused could bring witnesses to court to explain to the jury that the complaining witness has a history of violence. This will give the jury a better understanding of the reason why the defendant resorted to violence to defend himself or herself.
If you have a case involving self defense call me for a free consultation at 415-552-1215.