NYC 2016-12-27T13:42:14+00:00

NYC Self Defense

Below is a complete listing of all relevant New York & New York City (NYC) statutes, case law and jury instructions. We’ve also provided a plain-talk explanation of these legal documents that anybody can read both in our blog and in “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd edition.” Read them and understand your rights, it’s imperative to your future!

In any defensive encounter there are actually two battles that MUST be won: the attack itself, and the New York court battle after. Don’t successfully protect yourself from harm only to find your life wasted in jail forever. Know how New York handles these cases specifically, as well as what to expect regardless of what state you may be in. Stay informed and stay safe.

  • People v. Watts, 442 N.E.2d 1188 (NY Ct. App. 1982)

    Law Case
    New York
    October 1982

    People v. Watts, 442 N.E.2d 1188 (NY Ct. App. 1982) Court of Appeals of New York October 11, 1982, Argued ; November 16, 1982, Decided 57 N.Y.2d 299 | 442 N.E.2d 1188 | 456 N.Y.S.2d 677 | 1982 N.Y. LEXIS 3770 The People of the State of New York, Respondent, v. Herman Watts, Appellant Counsel: Joseph R. Connelly, Rose H. Sconiers and Joseph B. Mistrett for appellant. I. Richard J. Arcara, District Attorney (Kurt T. Sajda of counsel), for respondent. Judges: Chief Judge Cooke. Judges Jasen, Gabrielli, Jones, Wachtler, Fuchsberg and Meyer concur. Opinion by: COOKE OPINION OF THE COURT …

  • People v. Umali, 10 N.Y.3d 417 (NY Ct. App. 2008)

    Law Case
    New York
    May 2008

    People v. Umali, 10 N.Y.3d 417 (NY Ct. App. 2008) March 19, 2008, Argued; May 6, 2008, Decided No. 66 10 N.Y.3d 417 | 888 N.E.2d 1046 | 859 N.Y.S.2d 104 | 2008 N.Y. LEXIS 1181 | 2008 NY Slip Op 4184 The People of the State of New York, Respondent, v Isaias Umali, Appellant. Counsel: Carter Ledyard &Milburn LLP, New York City (Alan S. Lewis and Michael Shapiro of counsel), for appellant. Robert M. Morgenthau, District Attorney, New York City (Susan Axelrod and Mark Dwyer of counsel), for respondent. Judges: Opinion by Judge Graffeo. Chief Judge Kaye and Judges …

  • People v. Tomlins, 107 N.E. 496 (NY Court of Appeals 1914)

    Law Case
    New York
    December 1914

      People v. Tomlins The People of the State of New York, Respondent, v. Newton Tomlins, Appellant Court of Appeals of New York 213 N.Y. 240; 107 N.E. 496; 1914 N.Y. LEXIS 755 November 20, 1914, Argued December 18, 1914, Decided   COUNSEL: Frank Comesky for appellant.  The charge was prejudicial and unjust to the defendant and errone-ous.  ( People v. Dankberg, 91 App. Div. 67; State v. Brooks, 79 S. C. 144; Beard v. United States, 158 U.S. 550; People v. Corey, 157 N. Y. 351.) Thomas Gagan, District Attorney, for respondent.  The charge upon the question of self-defense …

  • People v. Soriano, 36 A.D.3d 527 (NY Supreme Court 2007)

    Law Case
    New York
    January 2007

      People v. Soriano 36 A.D.3d 527, 828 N.Y.S.2d 369 (2007) THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, Respondent, v. LUIS SORIANO, Appellant. Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, First Department. Decided January 25, 2007.   Defendant raised a defense of justification at his jury trial for murder and manslaughter. In order to defeat the justification defense, the prosecution was required to prove that defendant subjectively knew that he could have retreated with complete personal safety to himself and the person he allegedly was trying to protect. We find that the trial court’s …

  • People v. McManus, 67 N.Y.2d 541 (NY Ct. App. 1986)

    Law Case
    New York
    June 1986

    People v. McManus, 67 N.Y.2d 541 (NY Ct. App. 1986) PEOPLE v. MCMANUS 67 N.Y.2d 541 The People of the State of New York, Respondent, v. Jerry McManus, Appellant. Court of Appeals of the State of New York. Argued April 28, 1986. Decided June 10, 1986. Counsel: Hillard Wiese and Philip L. Weinstein for appellant. William L. Murphy, District Attorney (Paul J. Angioletti and Karen F. McGee of counsel), for respondent. Chief Judge WACHTLER and Judges MEYER, SIMONS, KAYE and ALEXANDER concur; Judge TITONE taking no part. HANCOCK, JR., J. Justification is a defense to depraved indifference murder and, where …

  • People v. Black, 33 A.D.3d 338 (NY App. Div. 2006)

    Law Case
    New York
    October 2006

    People v. Black, 33 A.D.3d 338 (NY App. Div. 2006) Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division, First Department October 5, 2006, Decided; October 5, 2006, Entered 33 A.D.3d 338 | 821 N.Y.S.2d 593 | 2006 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 12013 | 2006 NY Slip Op 7193 The People of the State of New York, Respondent, v Sherman Black, Appellant. Counsel: Edith Blumberg, Norwich, for appellant. Robert T. Johnson, District Attorney, Bronx (Kayonia L. Whetstone of counsel), for respondent. Judges: Buckley, P.J., Tom, Andrias, Gonzalez, Sweeny, JJ. Concur–Buckley, P.J., Tom, Andrias, Gonzalez and Sweeny, JJ. Opinion Judgment, Supreme Court, Bronx …

  • People v. Aiken, 828 N.E.2d 74 (NY Ct. of App. 2005)

    Law Case
    New York
    March 2005

    The People of the State of New York, Respondent, v. Richard Aiken, Appellant. No. 31 COURT OF APPEALS OF NEW YORK 4 N.Y.3d 324; 828 N.E.2d 74; 795 N.Y.S.2d 158; 2005 N.Y. LEXIS 701 February 9, 2005, Argued. March 31, 2005, Decided COUNSEL: Center for Appellate Litigation, New York City (Jody Ratner and Robert S. Dean of counsel), for appellant. The court erroneously instructed the jury that appellant had a duty to retreat if the jury found, in accordance with appellant’s testimony, that, at the time of the incident, he was (1) inside his dwelling, or (2) in the threshold …

  • People v Valentin, 2017 N.Y. LEXIS 721 (NY Ct. App. 2017)

    Law Case
    New York
    March 2017

    People v Valentin, 2017 N.Y. LEXIS 721 (NY Ct. App. 2017) Court of Appeals of New York March 30, 2017, Decided 2017 N.Y. LEXIS 721  | 2017 NY Slip Op 02470 The People & c., Appellant, v Carlos Valentin, Respondent. Counsel: Virginia A. Marciano, for appellant. Robert S. Dean, for respondent. Judges: Opinion by Judge Abdus-Salaam. Chief Judge DiFiore and Judges Fahey and Garcia concur. Judge Stein dissents and votes to affirm in an opinion in which Judges Rivera and Wilson concur. Opinion ABDUS-SALAAM, J.: The trial court did not commit reversible error by including an initial aggressor exception in …

  • NY Presumption of Innocence; Burden of Proof (in cases without an affirmative defense); Proof Beyond A Reasonable Doubt

    Jury Instruction
    New York

      CRIMINAL JURY INSTRUCTIONS 2d (CJI2d-NY) NY Presumption of Innocence; Burden of Proof (in cases without an affirmative defense); Proof Beyond A Reasonable Doubt We now turn to the fundamental principles of our law that apply in all criminal trials–the presumption of innocence, the burden of proof, and the requirement of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Throughout these proceedings, the defendant is presumed to be innocent. As a result, you must find the defendant not guilty, unless, on the evidence presented at this trial, you conclude that the People have proven the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. [NOTE: Add, …

  • NY JUSTIFICATION: USE OF PHYSICAL FORCE TO PREVENT DAMAGE TO PREMISES

    Jury Instruction
    New York

      CRIMINAL JURY INSTRUCTIONS 2d (CJI2d-NY) NY JUSTIFICATION: USE OF PHYSICAL FORCE TO PREVENT DAMAGE TO PREMISES PENAL LAW 35.20(1) NOTE: This charge should precede the instructions for the crime(s) to which the defense applies, and then, the final element of any such crime should read as follows: “and, #. That the defendant was not justified.” With respect to count(s) (specify count(s) and name(s) of crime(s) ), one of the elements that the People must prove beyond a reasonable doubt is that the defendant was not justified. The defendant is not required to prove that he/she was justified; the People …

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