Use of Force Law

jks9199

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For some reason I can not find anything for Minnesota...
Many states have not codified self defense in quite those words. They may be mentioned in the rules of the court, as a definition of affirmative defenses, or the state may rely on the common law principle that a person may justify what would otherwise be the offense or tort of some form of assault by asserting that they defended themselves. (I think this is why I didn't bother to try to dig up VA law on this; I know there's not much spelled out.)
 

Blotan Hunka

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Try searching for "defense of justification" or something like that.
 

chinto

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This is what I was able to find for my home state, Oregon.

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161.205 Use of physical force generally. The use of physical force upon another person that would otherwise constitute an offense is justifiable and not criminal under any of the following circumstances: (1) A parent, guardian or other person entrusted with the care and supervision of a minor or an incompetent person may use reasonable physical force upon such minor or incompetent person when and to the extent the person reasonably believes it necessary to maintain discipline or to promote the welfare of the minor or incompetent person. A teacher may use reasonable physical force upon a student when and to the extent the teacher reasonably believes it necessary to maintain order in the school or classroom or at a school activity or event, whether or not it is held on school property.
(2) An authorized official of a jail, prison or correctional facility may use physical force when and to the extent that the official reasonably believes it necessary to maintain order and discipline or as is authorized by law.
(3) A person responsible for the maintenance of order in a common carrier of passengers, or a person acting under the direction of the person, may use physical force when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes it necessary to maintain order, but the person may use deadly physical force only when the person reasonably believes it necessary to prevent death or serious physical injury.
(4) A person acting under a reasonable belief that another person is about to commit suicide or to inflict serious physical self-injury may use physical force upon that person to the extent that the person reasonably believes it necessary to thwart the result.
(5) A person may use physical force upon another person in self-defense or in defending a third person, in defending property, in making an arrest or in preventing an escape, as hereafter prescribed in chapter 743, Oregon Laws 1971. [1971 c.743 §21; 1981 c.246 §1]

Note: See note under 161.015.

161.209 Use of physical force in defense of a person. Except as provided in ORS 161.215 and 161.219, a person is justified in using physical force upon another person for self-defense or to defend a third person from what the person reasonably believes to be the use or imminent use of unlawful physical force, and the person may use a degree of force which the person reasonably believes to be necessary for the purpose. [1971 c.743 §22]

161.210 [Repealed by 1971 c.743 §432]

161.215 Limitations on use of physical force in defense of a person. Notwithstanding ORS 161.209, a person is not justified in using physical force upon another person if:
(1) With intent to cause physical injury or death to another person, the person provokes the use of unlawful physical force by that person; or
(2) The person is the initial aggressor, except that the use of physical force upon another person under such circumstances is justifiable if the person withdraws from the encounter and effectively communicates to the other person the intent to do so, but the latter nevertheless continues or threatens to continue the use of unlawful physical force; or
(3) The physical force involved is the product of a combat by agreement not specifically authorized by law. [1971 c.743 §24]

161.219 Limitations on use of deadly physical force in defense of a person. Notwithstanding the provisions of ORS 161.209, a person is not justified in using deadly physical force upon another person unless the person reasonably believes that the other person is:
(1) Committing or attempting to commit a felony involving the use or threatened imminent use of physical force against a person; or
(2) Committing or attempting to commit a burglary in a dwelling; or
(3) Using or about to use unlawful deadly physical force against a person. [1971 c.743 §23]

161.220 [Repealed by 1971 c.743 §432]

161.225 Use of physical force in defense of premises. (1) A person in lawful possession or control of premises is justified in using physical force upon another person when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes it necessary to prevent or terminate what the person reasonably believes to be the commission or attempted commission of a criminal trespass by the other person in or upon the premises.
(2) A person may use deadly physical force under the circumstances set forth in subsection (1) of this section only:
(a) In defense of a person as provided in ORS 161.219; or
(b) When the person reasonably believes it necessary to prevent the commission of arson or a felony by force and violence by the trespasser.
(3) As used in subsection (1) and subsection (2)(a) of this section, “premises” includes any building as defined in ORS 164.205 and any real property. As used in subsection (2)(b) of this section, “premises” includes any building. [1971 c.743 §25]

161.229 Use of physical force in defense of property. A person is justified in using physical force, other than deadly physical force, upon another person when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes it to be necessary to prevent or terminate the commission or attempted commission by the other person of theft or criminal mischief of property. [1971 c.743 §26]

161.230 [Repealed by 1971 c.743 §432]

161.235 Use of physical force in making an arrest or in preventing an escape. Except as provided in ORS 161.239, a peace officer is justified in using physical force upon another person only when and to the extent that the peace officer reasonably believes it necessary:
(1) To make an arrest or to prevent the escape from custody of an arrested person unless the peace officer knows that the arrest is unlawful; or
(2) For self-defense or to defend a third person from what the peace officer reasonably believes to be the use or imminent use of physical force while making or attempting to make an arrest or while preventing or attempting to prevent an escape. [1971 c.743 §27]

161.239 Use of deadly physical force in making an arrest or in preventing an escape. (1) Notwithstanding the provisions of ORS 161.235, a peace officer may use deadly physical force only when the peace officer reasonably believes that:
(a) The crime committed by the person was a felony or an attempt to commit a felony involving the use or threatened imminent use of physical force against a person; or
(b) The crime committed by the person was kidnapping, arson, escape in the first degree, burglary in the first degree or any attempt to commit such a crime; or
(c) Regardless of the particular offense which is the subject of the arrest or attempted escape, the use of deadly physical force is necessary to defend the peace officer or another person from the use or threatened imminent use of deadly physical force; or
(d) The crime committed by the person was a felony or an attempt to commit a felony and under the totality of the circumstances existing at the time and place, the use of such force is necessary; or
(e) The officer’s life or personal safety is endangered in the particular circumstances involved.
(2) Nothing in subsection (1) of this section constitutes justification for reckless or criminally negligent conduct by a peace officer amounting to an offense against or with respect to innocent persons whom the peace officer is not seeking to arrest or retain in custody. [1971 c.743 §28]

161.240 [Repealed by 1971 c.743 §432]

161.245 “Reasonable belief” described; status of unlawful arrest. (1) For the purposes of ORS 161.235 and 161.239, a reasonable belief that a person has committed an offense means a reasonable belief in facts or circumstances which if true would in law constitute an offense. If the believed facts or circumstances would not in law constitute an offense, an erroneous though not unreasonable belief that the law is otherwise does not render justifiable the use of force to make an arrest or to prevent an escape from custody.
(2) A peace officer who is making an arrest is justified in using the physical force prescribed in ORS 161.235 and 161.239 unless the arrest is unlawful and is known by the officer to be unlawful. [1971 c.743 §29]

161.249 Use of physical force by private person assisting an arrest. (1) Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, a person who has been directed by a peace officer to assist the peace officer to make an arrest or to prevent an escape from custody is justified in using physical force when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that force to be necessary to carry out the peace officer’s direction.
(2) A person who has been directed to assist a peace officer under circumstances specified in subsection (1) of this section may use deadly physical force to make an arrest or to prevent an escape only when:
(a) The person reasonably believes that force to be necessary for self-defense or to defend a third person from what the person reasonably believes to be the use or imminent use of deadly physical force; or
(b) The person is directed or authorized by the peace officer to use deadly physical force unless the person knows that the peace officer is not authorized to use deadly physical force under the circumstances. [1971 c.743 §30]

161.250 [Repealed by 1971 c.743 §432]

161.255 Use of physical force by private person making citizen’s arrest. (1) Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, a private person acting on the person’s own account is justified in using physical force upon another person when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes it necessary to make an arrest or to prevent the escape from custody of an arrested person whom the person has arrested under ORS 133.225.
(2) A private person acting under the circumstances prescribed in subsection (1) of this section is justified in using deadly physical force only when the person reasonably believes it necessary for self-defense or to defend a third person from what the person reasonably believes to be the use or imminent use of deadly physical force. [1971 c.743 §31; 1973 c.836 §339]

161.260 Use of physical force in resisting arrest prohibited. A person may not use physical force to resist an arrest by a peace officer who is known or reasonably appears to be a peace officer, whether the arrest is lawful or unlawful. [1971 c.743 §32]

161.265 Use of physical force to prevent escape. (1) A guard or other peace officer employed in a correctional facility, as that term is defined in ORS 162.135, is justified in using physical force, including deadly physical force, when and to the extent that the guard or peace officer reasonably believes it necessary to prevent the escape of a prisoner from a correctional facility.
(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1) of this section, a guard or other peace officer employed by the Department of Corrections may not use deadly physical force in the circumstances described in ORS 161.267 (3). [1971 c.743 §33; 2005 c.431 §3]

161.267 Use of physical force by corrections officer or official employed by Department of Corrections. (1) As used in this section:
(a) “Colocated minimum security facility” means a Department of Corrections institution that has been designated by the Department of Corrections as a minimum security facility and has been located by the department on the grounds of a medium or higher security Department of Corrections institution.
(b) “Department of Corrections institution” has the meaning given that term in ORS 421.005.
(c) “Stand-alone minimum security facility” means a Department of Corrections institution that has been designated by the department as a minimum security facility and that has been located by the department separate and apart from other Department of Corrections institutions.
(2) A corrections officer or other official employed by the Department of Corrections is justified in using physical force, including deadly physical force, when and to the extent that the officer or official reasonably believes it necessary to:
(a) Prevent the escape of an inmate from a Department of Corrections institution, including the grounds of the institution, or from custody;
(b) Maintain or restore order and discipline in a Department of Corrections institution, or any part of the institution, in the event of a riot, disturbance or other occurrence that threatens the safety of inmates, department employees or other persons; or
(c) Prevent serious physical injury to or the death of the officer, official or another person.
(3) Notwithstanding subsection (2)(a) of this section, a corrections officer or other official employed by the department may not use deadly physical force to prevent the escape of an inmate from:
(a) A stand-alone minimum security facility;
(b) A colocated minimum security facility, if the corrections officer or other official knows that the inmate has been classified by the department as minimum custody; or
(c) Custody outside of a Department of Corrections institution:
(A) While the inmate is assigned to an inmate work crew; or
(B) During transport or other supervised activity, if the inmate is classified by the department as minimum custody and the inmate is not being transported or supervised with an inmate who has been classified by the department as medium or higher custody.
(4) Nothing in this section limits the authority of a person to use physical force under ORS 161.205 (2) or 161.265. [2005 c.431 §2]

just remember that the 'reasonable man doctrine' still controls that in that all the legal paramotores of deadly force and what constitutes is a deadly threat and such is decided by the jury.
 

jmoree

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I'm glad someone started this post; otherwise, I might not have ever looked this up:

Georgia Code - Crimes and Offenses - Title 16, Section 16-3-23



A person is justified in threatening or using force against another when and to the extent that he or she reasonably believes that such threat or force is necessary to prevent or terminate such other´s unlawful entry into or attack upon a habitation; however, such person is justified in the use of force which is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm only if:
(1) The entry is made or attempted in a violent and tumultuous manner and he or she reasonably believes that the entry is attempted or made for the purpose of assaulting or offering personal violence to any person dwelling or being therein and that such force is necessary to prevent the assault or offer of personal violence;
(2) That force is used against another person who is not a member of the family or household and who unlawfully and forcibly enters or has unlawfully and forcibly entered the residence and the person using such force knew or had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry occurred; or
(3) The person using such force reasonably believes that the entry is made or attempted for the purpose of committing a felony therein and that such force is necessary to prevent the commission of the felony.


There is more that goes with this, but that's the basis of it. Reading on - as others pointed this out - there is the word 'reasonably' appears often...even when talking about using deadly defense.
 

chinto

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in my state it is the reasonable man doctrine except for a few things. it is a deadly force situation to stop burglary arson or any major felony on yourself or another. and you may meet any deadly force threat with deadly force. that is black letter law. the reasonable man doctrine is what would a reasonable person consider a deadly force threat. pointing a fire arm would provably be considered more then enough justification as would a knife with in 21 ft being brandished.. gets tricky some times other wise... but braking into a dwelling or standing there with some kind of incendiary is cut and dried... thank god I do not live east of the Mississippi river..there in a lot of states they have duty to retreat laws and such that pretty much tie your hands in your right to stay alive.
 

kwaichang

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More than you ever wanted to know about Arizona CCW and use of force laws. Discussed and written by a lawyer.

http://www.dps.state.az.us/ccw/version11-1.pdf
As a former resident of the great state of Arizona, I don't even bother to look. Everyone can carry; a ccp needed if you want one; openly. More cases of breakin guys gettin killed and the homeowner is never charged. Loved it.
 

stonewall1450

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We have it made in the shade here in florida thanks to old Jebby. We can carry in state parks. We can shoot to kill if we feel our lives are in danger. And we have the Castle law, if someone is breaking into our house, that makes it justifiable for us to shoot to kill. I LOVE IT! Course before those laws were passed I would have shot to kill so a law suit wouldnt come up anyway.
 

jks9199

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We have it made in the shade here in florida thanks to old Jebby. We can carry in state parks. We can shoot to kill if we feel our lives are in danger. And we have the Castle law, if someone is breaking into our house, that makes it justifiable for us to shoot to kill. I LOVE IT! Course before those laws were passed I would have shot to kill so a law suit wouldnt come up anyway.
"Shooting to kill" will not prevent a lawsuit. In fact, making statements like "I'll shoot to kill" may guarantee a lawsuit. Even assuming you kill the person you believe attacked you, and are not held criminally liable, you'll almost certainly find yourself being sued civilly by the guy's family.

You just might want to be sure that you really understand the law as it relates to using lethal force to defend yourself...
 

KenpoTex

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The Castle Doctrine in Fla. and some other states also provides civil immunity in a justified use of force situation. Some even go so far as to require the plaintiff to pay all the court costs (including the defendant) if their suit is found to be without merit.
 

jks9199

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Each state will have different laws, and different interpretations. Even then, civil immunity in case like this may be qualified in various ways.
 

Brian R. VanCise

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The best advice I could give would be to know your state laws thoroughly and when in doubt have an attorney/judge explain them to you.
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Be an informed citizen and know your legal rights within the law.
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HerbM

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[I am not a lawyer so the following is JUST my opinion and worthless as legal advice....ask a real (criminal) lawyer in your locality, preferably one who specialized in criminal assaults and self-defense.]

Much of Texas law has already been posted, so a few notes on context my help (for any state):

Texas for instance now has a "Castle Law" which changes the rules (and invokes civil immunity as well) in many cases.

During CHL classes everyone learns there are oddities to the TYPE of force you use: practically by definition, use of a firearm is considered "deadly force" which is not (automatically) true of other weapons, objects, or methods of defense.

Merely referring to a firearm (e.g., "I have a gun and will use it.") can easily be "deadly force" in Texas -- it's considered a form of 'brandishing' (another technical term here) which is by definition deadly force.

Odd thing is that if you are legally authorized to refer to or show your firearm you are TECHNICALLY authorized to shoot (and perhaps kill.)

Now this doesn't mean it is always a good idea to do so, nor that it will be treated the same way legally from a practical perspective, but this is the letter of the law.

Similarly, once authorized 'deadly force' you may shoot the attacker in the front, back, top of the head, etc -- all are equally 'LEGAL'.

It is however true that you later PROOF that you were authorized might be based on where and how (and how many times etc) that you shot the attacker. E.g., it is somewhat harder to claim he was rushing at you with a knife if you shoot him square in the back (unless you have witnesses or other evidence).

Another issue is that deadly force authorization terminates once the threat stops. (E.g., you cannot shoot an attacker once he is unconscious on the ground.)

Generally the best simple plan is to shoot (use deadly force) only when in immediate "Fear for your life" and to shoot only to "Stop the attack".)

Of course, "fear for your life" can in most cases be extended to another (innocent) person.

It takes a couple of hours to go through just the basic law in a Texas CHL class.

This is a major portion of the class in fact.
 

sparky12

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Sorry i dont have an ORC with me right now but as far as Ohio goes it is the use of force continuem, basically you can defend yourself physically up to and including deadly force only untill the threat is no longer present. Basically if a person hits you, you hit them back and they run away, you cant chase them down and commence to beating on them. One subject that i really dont agree with in the ORC is that if someone is breaking into you house to steal something, and not physically threating you, there is really nothing that you can physcally do to them. Fortunately, when you have fired several warning shots, they dont really stick around long to see if you will hurt them so they can sue you. :uzi:
As far as breaking into your house, I think that has changed since the Castle Law took effect.
Regards, Don
 

Kyosanim

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As far as breaking into your house, I think that has changed since the Castle Law took effect.
Regards, Don


I don't know about ohio but here in michigan the castle law which I refer to as the make my day law works like this.

If someone is in your home (uninvited) in the middle of the night you don't have to ask questions you can just shoot them. There is a catch however. They have to be facing you!!!!!!! If not it's still murder. Basically what it comes down to is if you feel your life or the lives of others in your house are in danger, which is provable according to the law by them facing you. I do not know this following part for sure. I believe that the law was extended so it covers anyone at any time being in your house unwelcome. I believe this part is to cover the issue of home invasions. This law covers property in general in texas, meaning that if you were to so much as trespass there you could be shot.

So 21st degree black belt or not it's a really good idea to own a gun as I don't know how much the law changes when non fire arms come into play, and it's an even better idea to put it in your pocket when answering the door for strangers. There was a string of home invasions near where I live a year or so before I moved in. They say that the home invaders would knock on the door in the middle of the after noon (generally when this type of thing happens) and one would say their car broke down and the other two hid. When the person came back with the phone they had a shotgun in their face. I guess they killed several people, but I don't really know for sure. My point with the story is thank god they passed a law like this.




Note: if it was unclear in the text as this part is important. In Michigan like most states that have castle laws the person must be inside your house and facing you!!!!!
 

Bill Mattocks

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I don't know about ohio but here in michigan the castle law which I refer to as the make my day law works like this.

If someone is in your home (uninvited) in the middle of the night you don't have to ask questions you can just shoot them. There is a catch however. They have to be facing you!!!!!!! If not it's still murder. Basically what it comes down to is if you feel your life or the lives of others in your house are in danger, which is provable according to the law by them facing you. I do not know this following part for sure. I believe that the law was extended so it covers anyone at any time being in your house unwelcome. I believe this part is to cover the issue of home invasions. This law covers property in general in texas, meaning that if you were to so much as trespass there you could be shot.

So 21st degree black belt or not it's a really good idea to own a gun as I don't know how much the law changes when non fire arms come into play, and it's an even better idea to put it in your pocket when answering the door for strangers. There was a string of home invasions near where I live a year or so before I moved in. They say that the home invaders would knock on the door in the middle of the after noon (generally when this type of thing happens) and one would say their car broke down and the other two hid. When the person came back with the phone they had a shotgun in their face. I guess they killed several people, but I don't really know for sure. My point with the story is thank god they passed a law like this.




Note: if it was unclear in the text as this part is important. In Michigan like most states that have castle laws the person must be inside your house and facing you!!!!!

No, that is incorrect.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?i...=958,771289&dq=castle+doctrine+michigan&hl=en

HB 5143, sponsored by Rep. Rick Jones (R-71), creates the "Self Defense Act" and specifies that it is not a crime to use force or deadly force to defend oneself if that person is not breaking any laws when defensive force was used. The person must be facing imminent threat of death or great bodily harm.

SB 1046, sponsored by Sen. Alan Cropsey (R-33), outlines rebuttal presumptions for justified use of self-defense. The bill makes it clear that there is no "duty to retreat" if a person is in a place where he or she has a legal right to be.

SB 1185, sponsored by Sen. Ron Jelinek (R-21), allows for the award of court and attorney fees in civil cases where it was determined a person acted in accordance with the "Self Defense Act" and where civil immunities apply.

HB 5548, sponsored by Rep. Tim Moore (R-97), gives civil immunities to persons acting in accordance with the "Self Defense Act," preventing criminals and their families from suing law-abiding citizens.

HB 5153, sponsored by Rep. Leslie Mortimer (R-65), puts the burden of proof on the prosecutor to show that a person acted unlawfully in the application of force, rather than the person using the force having to prove they acted lawfully.

HB 5142, sponsored by Rep. Tom Casperson (R-108), expands the definition of "dwelling" to include a person's garage, barn, backyard, etc.

"On behalf of all NRA members in Michigan, I want to thank each of the bills' chief sponsors for their leadership in seeing these measures become law," Cox said. "The Castle Doctrine is about putting the law back on the side of the victim; the way it's supposed to be."

There is nothing in it about the intruder facing you or facing away from you when fired upon.
 

Hapkidoman

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When faced with deadly force, it is important to remember that a "dead" attacker, can not testify against you.
 

Tez3

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When faced with deadly force, it is important to remember that a "dead" attacker, can not testify against you.

I wouldn't be so sure about that! the dead attacker can certainly 'give' evidence that may incriminate you if it wasn't SD.
 

AlanE

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just remember that the 'reasonable man doctrine' still controls that in that all the legal paramotores of deadly force and what constitutes is a deadly threat and such is decided by the jury.
That's the key constraint.

Most of the scenarios for the typical crimes I'd expect to witness, involve the attacker leaving either promptly, or slowly and methodically (no rush at all). Hence, my desire to apprehend, as a non-police officer, would run along the lines of seeing a person in need of CPR: I'd direct someone to call 911 and stay with the victim - praying they'll be willing to miss their bus and be altruistic if the victim is helpless. Meanwhile, I'll give pursuit and attempt a modest beatdown while apprehending the attacker. Risky, but we must try to stand up for others. We need laws to be (or stay) expanded beyond the "castle law," such as providing third party protection and citizen appprehension of criminals.
 

Indie12

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WA State,

RCW 9A.16.020

Use of Force laws vary from state to state and may and/or may not include or cover certain things. I recommend really looking into your local, county, state, and federal laws since there are many and they all vary.
 

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