627.Hallucination: Effect on Premeditation
A hallucination is a perception not based on objective reality. In other
words, a person has a hallucination when that person believes that he
or she is seeing or hearing [or otherwise perceiving] something that is
not actually present or happening.
You may consider evidence of hallucinations, if any, in deciding whether
the defendant acted with deliberation and premeditation.
The People have the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that
the defendant acted with deliberation and premeditation. If the People
have not met this burden, you must ﬁnd the defendant not guilty of ﬁrst
New January 2006; Revised February 2015
The court has a sua sponte duty to give defense instructions supported by
substantial evidence and not inconsistent with the defendant’s theory of the case.
(See People v. Baker (1999) 74 Cal.App.4th 243, 252 [87 Cal.Rptr.2d 803]; People
v. Barton (1995) 12 Cal.4th 186, 195 [47 Cal.Rptr.2d 569, 906 P.2d 531].)
“[E]vidence of a hallucination—a perception with no objective reality—is
inadmissible to negate malice so as to mitigate murder to voluntary manslaughter
but is admissible to negate deliberation and premeditation so as to reduce ﬁrst
degree murder to second degree murder.” (People v. Padilla (2002) 103
Cal.App.4th 675, 677 [126 Cal.Rptr.2d 889].)
• Hallucination Evidence. People v. Padilla (2002) 103 Cal.App.4th 675, 677
[126 Cal.Rptr.2d 889].
• Hallucination Alone Not a Basis for Imperfect Self-Defense. People v. Mejia-
Lenares (2006) 135 Cal.App.4th 1437 [38 Cal.Rptr.3d 404].
• Imperfect Self-Defense Does Not Apply When Defendant’s Belief in Need for
Self-Defense is Entirely Delusional. People v. Elmore (2014) 59 Cal.4th 121,
145 [172 Cal.Rptr.3d 413, 325 P.3d 951].
1 Witkin & Epstein, California Criminal Law (4th ed. 2012) Crimes Against the
Person, §§ 107–108.
3 Millman, Sevilla & Tarlow, California Criminal Defense Practice, Ch. 73,
Defenses and Justiﬁcations, § 73.03 (Matthew Bender).