California Criminal Jury Instructions (CALCRIM 2017)

CA 3471. Right to Self-Defense: Mutual Combat or Initial Aggressor

A person who engages in mutual combat or who is the initial aggressor has a right to self-defense only if:

1. (He/She) actually and in good faith tries to stop fighting;


2. (He/She) indicates, by word or by conduct, to (his/her) opponent, in a way that a reasonable person would understand, that (he/she) wants to stop fighting and that (he/she) has stopped fighting(;/.)

<Give element 3 in cases of mutual combat>


3. (He/She) gives (his/her) opponent a chance to stop fighting.] If a person meets these requirements, (he/she) then has a right to self-defense if the opponent continues to fight.

[A fight is mutual combat when it began or continued by mutual consent or agreement. That agreement may be expressly stated or implied and must occur before the claim to self defense arose.]

[If you decide that the defendant started the fight using non-deadly force and the opponent responded with such sudden and deadly force that the defendant could not withdraw from the fight, then the defendant had the right to defend (himself/herself) with deadly force and was not required to try to stop fighting.]

New January 2006; Revised April 2008, December 2008, April 2011, February 2013