Are there any such cases where the conduct of victim can justify or at least cause a not guilty verdict? Or, is it a general rule that non-criminal conduct of victim cannot justify the actions of the accused in a trial?

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    Easy case: Smith tried to kill Jones; Jones defends himself, killing Smith. Jones is tried and successfully argues self-defense. There is also a difference between justified homicide and excusable homicide.
    – user6726
    Feb 23, 2023 at 2:43
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    Like most questions here on Law.SE the circumstances when this is or is not the case depend upon the laws that apply to the crime. The law in one jurisdiction (e.g., France) isn't necessarily the same as the law in another jurisdiction (e.g., Florida).
    – ohwilleke
    Feb 23, 2023 at 17:07

1 Answer 1


Your question is very broad, but yes, there innumerable ways that the actions of a victim/complainant can result in a not-guilty verdict. I'll list some.

  1. Contemporaneous consent to contact. If the victim/complainant consented to the contact, then the offence of assault or sexual assault will not have been committed.

  2. Self-defence. If the victim gave the accused reasonable grounds to believe that the victim was about to use force against the accused, then depending on the circumstances, it might not be an offence for the accused to take certain actions against the victim for the purpose of defending themself (the accused).

  3. The provocation defence that is based on conduct of the victim. See Criminal Code, s. 232, which can result in a not-guilty verdict for murder.

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    how is contemporaneous consent different from normal consent ?
    – user49663
    Mar 30, 2023 at 12:02

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