Do you have a question about criminal law offences?


In any assault type offence you can raise self defence as an issue in your case.

If the court accepts that you were acting in self defence, the court will dismiss the charge against you. If you are going to defend a case relying on self defence you need to know the law relating to self defence.

Section 418 of the Crimes Act 1900 enumerates the cases where self defence is available:

(1) A person is not criminally responsible for an offence if the person carries out the conduct constituting the offence in self-defence.

(2) A person carries out conduct in self-defence if and only if the person believes the conduct is necessary:

  • to defend himself or herself or another person, or
  • to prevent or terminate the unlawful deprivation of his or her liberty or the liberty of another person, or
  • to protect property from unlawful taking, destruction, damage or interference, or
  • to prevent criminal trespass to any land or premises or to remove a person committing any such criminal trespass,
  • and the conduct is a reasonable response in the circumstances as he or she perceives them.

The accused need only to raise self defence. The prosecution has the burden of proving that there is indeed no self defence. If the prosecution fails to prove it, the case will be dismissed.  

Being involved in the criminal or police process can be quite demanding, rigorous, and time consuming. Hiring the right criminal lawyers can often make a substantial difference in your case.

Disclaimer : This article is just a summary of the subject matter being discussed and should not be regarded as a comprehensive legal advice for you to defend yourself alone. If you are charged with criminal offences, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance from criminal lawyers.

Ask a Question - It Is Free