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  1. #1
    criminquiry is offline Junior Member
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    CA PC 243(d) Defenses?

    What is the name of your state? CA
    How do you mitigate down a charge of PC 243(d) where you were acting in self-defense. After calling 911 a million and one times, my friend's ex-girlfriend's father came over to his car and lunged towards him. In response to protect himself, he punched the father and due to the age discrepancy, caused the father to get hurt. Any ideas as to whether self-defense or related would work?
  2. #2
    CdwJava is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by criminquiry View Post
    How do you mitigate down a charge of PC 243(d) where you were acting in self-defense. After calling 911 a million and one times, my friend's ex-girlfriend's father came over to his car and lunged towards him. In response to protect himself, he punched the father and due to the age discrepancy, caused the father to get hurt. Any ideas as to whether self-defense or related would work?
    First off, no one called 9-1-1 "a million and one times".

    Second, was anything articulated in these 9-1-1 calls to indicate that a crime was happening at the time? What was the response? Cops don't show up quickly for squabbles - especially in larger jurisdictions, or very rural ones.

    Please define "lunged" ... if the lunge was a blow or an attempt to strike the person, then he might be able to raise the self defense argument at trial with a greater chance of success. If the older man "lunged" by trying to move around or past the defendant, this may not justify popping him.

    He can raise the defense if he wishes to do so. Ultimately, it will be the totality of the presented facts that will determine whether a jury buys the self defense argument.

    Self-defense is based upon "justification" for the suspect's assaulting the victim; i.e., the suspect was reasonably apprehensive that the victim was going to assault him, so the suspect had to defend himself.

    - Carl
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM
  3. #3
    criminquiry is offline Junior Member
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    243(d) Charge

    Quote Originally Posted by CdwJava View Post
    First off, no one called 9-1-1 "a million and one times".


    Second, was anything articulated in these 9-1-1 calls to indicate that a crime was happening at the time? What was the response? Cops don't show up quickly for squabbles - especially in larger jurisdictions, or very rural ones.

    Please define "lunged" ... if the lunge was a blow or an attempt to strike the person, then he might be able to raise the self defense argument at trial with a greater chance of success. If the older man "lunged" by trying to move around or past the defendant, this may not justify popping him.

    He can raise the defense if he wishes to do so. Ultimately, it will be the totality of the presented facts that will determine whether a jury buys the self defense argument.
    Probably, based upon physical appearance alone, old man will prevail. However, if someone tries to hit you, you are allowed to retaliate with similar force. Correct? Blow for a blow. Why is it that this charge is so focused upon the damage caused as opposed to the force used. Sounds like eggshell plaintiff to me.... why should criminal law be any different?

    Self-defense is based upon "justification" for the suspect's assaulting the victim; i.e., the suspect was reasonably apprehensive that the victim was going to assault him, so the suspect had to defend himself.

    - Carl
    Thanks for all your help. A couple more items -

    Regarding the one million times comment - I know, I was exaggerating. Sincerely, he called about 5 times. He went over to his ex's house to retrieve some belongings when father started screaming racial epithets. Subsequently, he retreated to his car to call the police. 911 was called numerous times as he waited for the police while enduring this verbal banter.
    Content of the calls - Yes, he did notify them that a crime was in progress. The 911 operator even recognized the voice the 3rd time he called. He indicated that he was in fear for his safety and wanted to retrieve his belongings.
    Meant by lunged - "Blow or attempt to strike him" is exactly what I meant by lunged. Old man tried to hit him and he blocked the blow and punched him back.
    Self defense - Is the legal limit upon the means one uses under the umbrella of self-defense something that is entirely fact specific or are there some threshhold guidelines to when it becomes excessive?
    Last edited by criminquiry; 05-17-2008 at 08:47 PM.
  4. #4
    CdwJava is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by criminquiry View Post
    Sincerely, he called about 5 times. He went over to his ex's house to retrieve some belongings when father started screaming racial epithets. Subsequently, he retreated to his car to call the police. 911 was called numerous times as he waited for the police while enduring this verbal banter.
    He probably should have left. Screaming does not equal a fear for your life. And if he was truly in fear for his life, I suspect he would have left the area.

    It is not an emergency to be unable to retrieve one's items. Depending on the circumstances, that is a civil matter anyway.

    A verbal harangue is not necessarily going to leap to the top of the call priority list. If he has a problem with his city's response times, he needs to take that up with the Chief or the city council.

    "Blow or attempt to strike him" is exactly what I meant by lunged. Old man tried to hit him and he blocked the blow and punched him back.
    Then he can raise "self defense" at trial.

    Is the legal limit upon the means one uses under the umbrella of self-defense something that is entirely fact specific or are there some threshhold guidelines to when it becomes excessive?
    It is going to be fact specific. For his sake, the older man had better not appear to be smaller, weaker and slower than he is.

    This whole incident is going to be determined by the totality of the circumstances. Whether he had a right to pop the older man in self defense will be up to a jury to decide, and that argument will be based upon the totality of the circumstances. His attorney can best evaluate whether he will make a sympathetic "victim" of the older man's assault or if he will just appear to be a bully. No one here can really make that call as we do not have all the details.

    - Carl
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

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