MD CJI&C § 8.13(C). Self-Defense: Non-Deadly Force

2 MD Criminal Jury Instructions and Commentary § 8.13(C)
Maryland Criminal Jury Instructions and Commentary, Third Edition
Chapter 8 DEFENSES
L. Self-Defense

CJI&C § 8.13(C). Self-Defense: Non-Deadly Force

Evidence has been presented that (insert name of defendant) acted in self-defense. A person may use a reasonable amount of non-deadly force in self-defense. Non-deadly force means force that is not reasonably calculated to cause serious bodily harm or death.

In order to justify (insert specific crime(s) to which the defense applies) on the basis of self-defense, the following three elements must exist: (insert name of defendant) must have:

(1) actually believed that [he] [she] was in imminent or immediate danger of bodily harm from [his] [her] assailant or potential assailant;

(2) had reasonable grounds for that belief; and

(3) had not used any more force than was reasonably necessary to defend [himself] [herself] from the threatened or actual harm. [A person does not have a duty to retreat when using non-deadly force.]

In making your determination, you should consider all of the facts and circumstances in evidence. A belief that may seem unreasonable at first glance may actually be reasonable given the circumstances (insert name of defendant) was under at the time [he] [she] used the force. Even if (insert name of victim) was the aggressor, and (insert name of defendant) was justified using non-deadly force in self-defense, [he] [she] may not use greater force than [he] [she] actually and reasonably believed to be necessary under the circumstances.

In order to convict (insert name of defendant), the burden of proof is on the State to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that self-defense does not apply in this case. Therefore, the State must prove to you beyond a reasonable doubt that one of the three elements of self-defense does not exist. This means the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:

(1) (insert name of defendant) did not believe [he] [she] was in imminent or immediate danger of bodily harm from the assailant or potential assailant; or

(2) (insert name of defendant)’s belief concerning whether [he] [she] was in imminent or immediate danger of bodily harm was unreasonable; or

(3) (insert name of defendant) used an unreasonable amount of force in defending [himself] [herself].