Prosser, p. 101-104: Self-Defense


1.     You have the privilege to defend yourself against a threatened battery.

2.     Retaliation is not allowed.  In other words, once battery is no longer threatened, you no longer have the privilege of self-defense.

3.     You have the privilege to defend yourself when you reasonably belief you are threatened with battery, even if in fact you are not.  Your mistake may protect you in this limited case.

4.     Language is not sufficient to justify self-defense.

5.     The privilege of self-defense is limited to the use of force that is necessary or reasonably appears necessary to protect yourself.

6.     It is a matter of disagreement whether the defendant has a duty to retreat if it is possible to do so without harm.  When battery is threatened with a gun, this becomes a moot point.

7.     Self-defense carries over to transferred intent such that if you harm a third-party in self-defense, you’re not liable.


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