Maryland Pattern Jury Instructions-Criminal (MPJI-Cr)

MPJI-Cr 5:01 Defense of Others

You have heard evidence that the defendant acted in defense of [name of person]. Defense of others is a defense, and you are required to find the defendant not guilty if all of the following four factors are present:

(1) the defendant actually believed that the person he was defending was in immediate and imminent danger of bodily harm;
(2) the defendant’s belief was reasonable;
(3) the defendant used no more force than was reasonably necessary in light of the threatened or actual force; and
(4) the defendant’s purpose in using force was to aid the person he was defending.

In order to convict the defendant, the State must prove that the defense of others does not apply in this case. This means that you are required to find the defendant not guilty unless the State has persuaded you, beyond a reasonable doubt, that at least one of the four factors of defense of others was absent.