Revised Arizona Jury Instruction (RAJI 4th)
AZ RAJI4th 4.04 − Justification for Self-Defense
A defendant is justified in using or threatening physical force in self-defense if the following two conditions existed:
- A reasonable person in the situation would have believed that physical force was immediately necessary to protect against another’s use or apparent attempted or threatened use of unlawful physical force; and
- The defendant used or threatened no more physical force than would have appeared necessary to a reasonable person in the situation.
A defendant may use deadly physical force in self-defense only to protect against another’s use or apparent attempted or threatened use of deadly physical force.
Self-defense justifies the use or threat of physical force or deadly physical force only while the apparent danger continues, and it ends when the apparent danger ends. The force used may not be greater than reasonably necessary to defend against the apparent danger.
The use of physical force is justified if a reasonable person in the situation would have reasonably believed that immediate physical danger appeared to be present. Actual danger is not necessary to justify the use of physical force in self-defense.
You must decide whether a reasonable person in a similar situation would believe that: physical force was immediately necessary to protect against another’s [use] [attempted use] [threatened use] [apparent attempted use] [apparent threatened use] of unlawful physical force; or
You must measure the defendant’s belief against what a reasonable person in the situation would have believed.
[The threat or use of physical force is not justified:
- In response to verbal provocation alone;
- To resist an arrest that the defendant knew or should have known was being made by a peace officer or by a person acting in a peace officer’s presence and at the peace officer’s direction, whether the arrest was lawful or unlawful, unless the physical force used by the peace officer exceeded that allowed by law; or
- If the defendant provoked the other’s use of unlawful physical force, unless:
- The defendant withdrew from the encounter or clearly communicated to the other person the defendant’s intent to withdraw, reasonably believing that the defendant could not withdraw from the encounter; and
- The other person nevertheless continued or attempted to use unlawful physical force against the defendant.]
The State has the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant did not act with such justification. If the State fails to carry this burden, then you must find the defendant not guilty of the charge.