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    Self Defence

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      Best Self Defence Lawyers

      Our self defence lawyers appear in Courts throughout Australia on a daily basis defending assault charges. Our team have an extensive track record of proving our client’s innocence.

      Contact us now to speak to an accredited specialist in criminal law who can quickly analyse your case and begin bolstering your self-defence case.

      What is Self Defence?

      Self defence refers to a legal concept where you can be found ‘not guilty’ of an offence if your actions were committed to protect yourself or another person.

      Section 418 of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) sets out the two-stage test for self-defence:

      1. You genuinely believed it was necessary for you to act to:

      • Defend yourself or another person; OR
      • Stop yourself or another person being held without consent; OR
      • Protect your property from being taken, destroyed, damaged or interfered with; OR
      • Prevent a trespass

      2. Your conduct was a reasonable response in the circumstances you perceived them.

      Self-defence is most often used to defend domestic violence assault charges, common assault and grievous bodily harm assaults.

      Can You Hit Someone in Self Defence?

      If you were acting in self-defence and your actions were a reasonable response, then you can hit someone in self-defence.

      However, you must satisfy the test above. If you fail either stage of the test, the Court will not be satisfied that you were acting in self-defence and you could be found ‘guilty’ of the offence.

      How Do You Prove Self Defence?

      It is a common misnomer that you must ‘prove’ self-defence.

      Rather, once your raise self-defence, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that you were not acting in self-defence. If they cannot do this, then you will be found ‘not guilty’ (see: section 419 of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW)).

      The leading case on self-defence is R v Katarzynski [2002] NSWSC 613. It laid out the following elements of self-defence:

      1. Was there is a reasonable possibility that you considered your actions were necessary to defend yourself or another person; and
      2. Was there is a reasonable possibility your actions were reasonable in the circumstances as you perceived them.

      Your state of mind at the time of your actions will be considered. This includes your age, health, gender, and surroundings at the time.

      Often it may be necessary for you to give evidence in Court for a self-defence argument to be successful, although the evidence of self-defence may be apparent from CCTV footage (Colosimo v DPP [2006] NSWCA 293).

      There are significant risks with this as you will then be subjected to cross-examination by the prosecutor.

      That is why you should speak to an accredited specialist in criminal law who can advise on the best way to argue self-defence.

      Contact us now for an initial consultation with our team.

      Will You Go to Jail if You Kill in Self Defence?

      Self-defence is a full defence to a charge of murder or manslaughter. Therefore, if you kill someone in self-defence, not only will you not go to jail, you will also not be found guilty. This means that you will not suffer any punishment.

      However, it is important to recognise that you must pass the test for self-defence. While you may be able to establish that you believed that you had to defend yourself or another person, you may have more difficulty proving that your actions were a reasonable response.

      This is because killing someone is usually the result of a significant use of force. The threat you were facing would have to be significant to warrant you killing that person.

      For example, if a person was attempting to push you, it would not be reasonable response to stab him or her. However, if that person had a knife and was attempting to stab you, it may be a reasonable for you to stab him or her.

      All will depend on the specific circumstances of the case.

      Self-defence Is a complex area of the law. If you have been charged with an offence and believe that you were acting in self-defence, contact us now to speak to a senior criminal lawyer.

      Ask a question now!