California Criminal Jury Instructions (CALCRIM 2017)

CA 3476. Right to Defend Real or Personal Property

The owner [or possessor] of (real/ [or] personal) property may use reasonable force to protect that property from imminent harm. [A person may also use reasonable force to protect the property of a (family member/guest/master/servant/ward) from immediate harm.]

Reasonable force means the amount of force that a reasonable person in the same situation would believe is necessary to protect the property from imminent harm.

When deciding whether the defendant used reasonable force, consider all the circumstances as they were known to and appeared to the defendant and consider what a reasonable person in a similar situation with similar knowledge would have believed. If the defendant’s beliefs were reasonable, the danger does not need to have actually existed.

The People have the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant used more force than was reasonable to protect property from imminent harm. If the People have not met this burden, you must find the defendant not guilty of <insert crime>.

New January 2006; Revised April 2008