Let’s consider a case in which a person walks up to another, “getting into their face”. The second person punches the first, claiming they invaded their “personal space”. Is that a battery defense for the charge against battery?

California Law

California law does not admit to violations of personal space as a defense for battery defense. One would, in effect, be hitting someone because he or she did not like the other person’s location.

California does allow for violence in defense of oneself or others, under reasonable circumstances. One has to be reasonably sure that one is under threat of being killed, injured, or touched in an unlawful manner. One has to reasonably believe that only by use of force can one avoid being killed or injured by the other party. Finally, one uses only the amount of force necessary to prevent harm.

The last criteria can be tricky. For example, if someone slaps another, the person being slapped is not allowed to shoot the attacker. However, if the attacker pulled a weapon or attempted strangulation, then the use of deadly force can be justified as self-defense.

Fortunately, California has a stand-your-ground law. This does not require a person who is under threat to attempt to escape or run away before exercising the right to self-defense

However, if a person only gets close, even in anger, self-defense does not include attacking him. No overt threat is present.

Learn More About Battery Defense

If you’re involved in a violent altercation for which the law deems you at fault, seek a criminal defense lawyer.

For more information contact us.