Maryland Criminal Jury Instructions and Commentary, Third Edition
Chapter 8 DEFENSES
L. Self-Defense

§ 8.13(D). Self-Defense: Determining the Aggressor

As stated earlier, you must determine whether (insert name of defendant) was the aggressor of the attack in determining whether a valid self-defense claim exists. In order for (insert name of defendant) to claim self-defense, you must find that [he] [she] was not the aggressor of the attack [unless (insert name of defendant) started the fight with non-deadly force and (insert name of victim) then escalated the fight to the deadly force level] [unless (insert name of defendant) was the aggressor using deadly force and withdrew from the confrontation and made [his] [her] withdrawal clear to (insert name of victim)].

[Deadly force means force that is reasonably calculated to cause serious bodily harm or death.]

[In addition, before using deadly force, the defendant is required to make a reasonable effort to retreat. You should consider all of the facts and circumstances in evidence in determining whether (insert name of defendant) made a reasonable effort to retreat as far as [he] [she] could with safety. [He] [She] was not required to retreat if: [the avenue of retreat, although a possible means of escape, was not known to [him] [her]; [retreat was unsafe] [[he] [she] was in [his] [her] home at the time of being attacked] [ (insert name of victim) was attempting to rob (insert name of defendant)]; [ (insert name of defendant)] was lawfully attempting to arrest (insert name of victim)]. [ (insert name of defendant) had no duty to retreat if you find that [he] [she] did not use deadly force.]]