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Name: People v. Hernandez
Case #: E031875
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 08/20/2003
Subsequent History: None

In an assault case, jury instructions that an original aggressor or mutual combatant must “clearly inform” an adversary of his or her withdrawal in order to claim self-defense were erroneous. An original aggressor may communicate withdrawal either by word or conduct. It was possible the instructions could be interpreted to exclude withdrawal by conduct, no matter how obvious and unequivocal. However, the error was invited because the defense requested the instruction. Moreover, the error was harmless because there was no evidence of withdrawal.