When Can A Claim Of Self-Defense Be Valid?

Self-defense is such a complex term that an individual has to prove its validity. For instance, if you are not in good terms with your neighbor and the tension led to physical injury, it is difficult prove that the injury was purely to invoke self-defense. Justifying such actions will still depend on the law. For claim of self-defense to be valid, the justifying circumstances under Article 11 of the Revised Penal Code must be taken into consideration. 



Art. 11. Justifying circumstances. — The following do not incur any criminal liability: 

1. Anyone who acts in defense of his person or rights, provided that the following circumstances concur; 

First. Unlawful aggression.

Second. Reasonable necessity of the means employed to prevent or repel it.

Third. Lack of sufficient provocation on the part of the person defending himself.

2. Any one who acts in defense of the person or rights of his spouse, ascendants, descendants, or legitimate, natural or adopted brothers or sisters, or his relatives by affinity in the same degrees and those consanguinity within the fourth civil degree, provided that the first and second requisites prescribed in the next preceding circumstance are present, and the further requisite, in case the revocation was given by the person attacked, that the one making defense had no part therein.

3. Anyone who acts in defense of the person or rights of a stranger, provided that the first and second requisites mentioned in the first circumstance of this Art. are present and that the person defending be not induced by revenge, resentment, or other evil motive.

4. Any person who, in order to avoid an evil or injury, does not act which causes damage to another, provided that the following requisites are present;  

First. That the evil sought to be avoided actually exists;

Second. That the injury feared be greater than that done to avoid it;

Third. That there be no other practical and less harmful means of preventing it.

5. Any person who acts in the fulfillment of a duty or in the lawful exercise of a right or office.

6. Any person who acts in obedience to an order issued by a superior for some lawful purpose.

Pinoy Attorney

Written by : Pinoy Attorney