46.3305 Use of force in defense of persons.

Print This

(a) A person may, subject to subsection (b), use physical force upon another person when and to the extent he reasonably believes it to be necessary to defend himself or a third person from what he reasonably believes to be the use or imminent use of unlawful force by the other person unless:

(1) the actor was the initial aggressor; except that in that case his use of force is nevertheless justifiable, provided:

(A) he has withdrawn from the encounter and effectively communicated that withdrawal to the other person but the latter persists in continuing the incident by the use or threatened use of unlawful force

(B) he is a law enforcement officer and as such is an aggressor under 46.3308;

(C) the aggressor is justified under some other provision of this chapter or other provision of law; or

(D) under the circumstances as the actor reasonably believes them to be, the person whom he seeks to protect would not be justified in using that protective force.

(b) A person may not use deadly force upon another person under the circumstances specified in subsection (a) unless he reasonably believes that the deadly force is necessary to protect himself or another against death, serious physical injury, rape, sodomy, or kidnapping.

(c) The justification afforded by this section extends to the use of physical restraint as protective force provided that the actor takes all reasonable measures to terminate the restraint as soon as it is reasonable to do so.

(d) The defendant has the burden of injecting the issue of justification under this section.

History: 1979, PL 16-43 § 2.

Case Notes:

A finding of self-defense is a complete defense to a criminal charge of third-degree assault. A.S.C.A. §§ 46.3305 & 46.3522(a). Galea`i v. Atofau, 16 A.S.R.2d 76 (1990).

Research Guide: MCC 563.031.