The Defence of Self Defence: Self Defence in Criminal Matters

The Defence of Self Defence: Self Defence in Criminal Matters

Solicitor/Lawyer John Vizzone recently successfully used the argument of self-defence in an assault case.

Thanks largely to American television, self defence is often cited by those who have found themselves on the wrong side of the law but not often is it applied successfully in Court.

Vizzone Ruggero & Associates solicitor, John Vizzone recently successfully pleaded this Defence on behalf of a client facing two counts of assault.

“For the Court to dismiss the charges on the basis of a successful case of self-defence, generally it must be shown that the Defendant had genuine fears for their safety, the safety of another, or property and then secondly, it needs to be shown that the action, or alleged crime taken in response was reasonable,” says John Vizzone.

The most interesting part of John Vizzone’s recent case is the fact that he had to show the Court that his client’s response was not the only reasonable response.

“The Court agreed with my submission that what is relevant is whether it was reasonable or not, not that it was the best, judged at some later time. The effect of this is that the Defence could successfully be used more so than people may think,” explained John Vizzone.

In John Vizzone’s case, the prosecution failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the defence should not apply.

It was yet another great result for Vizzone Ruggero & Associates and its clients.

The key facts to remember when considering a defence of self-defence are:

  1. The Defendant must have fear;

  2. The response to the threat must be reasonable;

  3. The response must merely be reasonable and not the best;

  4. Once raised, the onus is on the prosecution to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the Defendant did not act in self-defence.

For further information about self defence, the case discussed, or any other issues relating to criminal law, please contact our criminal team headed by Scott Richardson and John Vizzone on 02 9667 1271 or and

Follow John Vizzone on Twitter @jvizzone

By John Vizzone

tags: criminal law, john vizzone, scott richardson, adrian twigg & co, self defence, assault, lawyer, solicitor, help, advice, vizzone ruggero & associate, solicitor, solicitor sydney, defence lawyer, mascot.

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