Louisiana Criminal Jury Instructions (2017)
§ 6:23 Aggressor doctrine

A person who is the aggressor or who brings on a difficulty cannot claim the right of self-defense unless he withdraws from the conflict in good faith and in such a manner that his adversary knows or should know that he desires to withdraw and discontinue the conflict.

[In determining whether the defendant was the aggressor, you must consider the nature of the confrontation and whether the victim’s actions were a reasonable response.]

Thus, if you find that the defendant was the aggressor or that he brought on the difficulty, you must reject his claim of self-defense unless you find:

(1) that he withdrew from the conflict; and

(2) that his withdrawal was in good faith; and

(3) that he withdrew in a manner that put his adversary on notice that he wished to withdraw and discontinue the conflict.

I. If you find that

(1) the defendant was lawfully inside a [dwelling][place of business][motor vehicle] and

(2) the person against whom the force or violence was used was in the process of unlawfully and forcibly entering or had unlawfully and forcibly entered the [dwelling][place of business][motor vehicle] and

(3) the defendant knew or had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry was occurring or had occurred,

you should [must] presume that the defendant held a reasonable belief that the use of force or violence was necessary to prevent unlawful entry thereto [or compel the intruder to leave the [premises]][motor vehicle].]

II. If you find that the defendant was not engaged in unlawful activity and was in a place where he [she] had a right to be, the defendant had not duty to retreat before using force or violence and had the right to stand his [her] ground and meet force with force.

III. If you find that the defendant used force or violence in defense of his [her] person or property, you shall not consider the possibility of retreat as a factor in determining whether or not the defendant had a reasonable belief that such force or violence was reasonably and apparently necessary to prevent the forcible offense or prevent the unlawful entry.

Updated: 7/12/2017