Self-defence is a complete defence to a criminal charge which means it leads to a verdict of ‘not guilty’.
The defence is contained in Section 418 of the Crimes Act 1900 which provides that you are not criminally responsible for an offence if:
To rely on self-defence, there must be evidence capable of supporting a reasonable inference that you acted in accordance with the section.
Once self-defence is raised, the prosecution must disprove it ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ if it is unable to do so, you are entitled to an acquittal.
Self-defence is not available where you used force that involved the reckless or intentional infliction of death only to:
A charge of murder will be reduced to manslaughter if you engaged in ‘excessive self-defence’ which means you:
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