November 9, 2009 By Wallin & Klarich

In May of 2009, in the County of Riverside, Michael Houston Chaffin was convicted of committing domestic battery. At his trial, the defendant argued that the trial court erred by refusing to instruct the jury on his affirmative defense. Meaning, the defendant argued that the judge made a mistake when he or she failed to instruct the jury “on the right of a landowner to use reasonable force to eject a trespasser.” The California Court of Appeal affirmed the lower court’s decision basing their decision on the facts presented at his trial.

The law requires trial courts to instruct on particular defense if it appears that the defendant was relying on that defense or there exists substantial evidence to support this defense. CALCRIM No. 3475 grants a landowner or lawful occupant of property the right to “use reasonable force to eject a trespasser.” Because in this particular case, the defendant never viewed the victim as a trespasser and the victim testified that she was “attempting to leave the property,” the instruction was not given.

This Court concluded that the CALCRIM instruction No. 3475 was not required as it was completely inconsistent with Chaffin’s theory of the case and lacked evidentiary support. If the defense attorney set up the case so the instruction would not have been inconsistent then it is likely that the jury would have been instructed on the affirmative defense.

If you ever get arrested for this type of crime, you need an aggressive and experienced Southern California criminal defense attorney fighting for you, so that all possible defenses be heard and exhausted. If you or someone you love has been accused of a crime in California, contact the experienced Southern California criminal defense attorneys at Wallin & Klarich today at 1-888-280-6839 or for a consultation of your case. We can help you.

Contact Us
  •   17592 Irvine Blvd,
      Tustin, CA 92780
  •   (714) 730-5300
  •   (888) 280-6839
SCHEDULE YOUR free consultation

If you or a loved one have been accused of a crime, this is the time to contact us.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Copyright © 2024 Wallin & Klarich - All rights reserved

California Criminal Defense Lawyer Disclaimer: The legal information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice, nor should it be considered the formation of a lawyer or attorney-client relationship. Any case results presented on the site are based upon the facts of a particular case and do not represent a promise or guarantee. The contents of this website may contain legal advertising. If you would like to find out more information about your particular legal matter, contact our office for a free telephonic consultation. This web site is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the state of California.