Criminal law

Self Defense Laws: What counts as self defense in New York? – Documented


This article introduces you to the self defense laws and regulations in New York.

Hate incidents and hate crimes against Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) individuals have skyrocketed during the pandemic. Based on documented research In terms of news consumption habits among Chinese immigrants in New York City, public safety is the most consumed news topic. It is also the most pressing issue that Chinese society believes should be covered by the media. In the survey, many readers wanted to know about self-defense laws and resources. This article provides you with information about self defense laws and regulations in New York.

What is self defense?

In general, the concept of self-defense is a legal term that refers to respecting the right of people to use force to protect themselves from harm. This right extends to the protection of others and, in some cases, to the protection of property.

Read also: After the Anti-Asian Hate: A Guide for Asians to Recover from Hate Crimes

Self-defense laws and regulations vary from state to state. Self-defense It gives individuals in New York State the right to protect themselves and others from violence, including assault and other violent crimes. Section 35 of the New York Penal Code sets out the circumstances under which a person may use physical force, even lethal physical force, to apprehend the person, stop the crime, and defend himself from the force used against the person or a third person.

Under Section 35 of the New York Penal CodeYou may use physical force on another person when and to the extent you reasonably believe it is necessary to defend yourself or a third person from what you reasonably believe is a use or imminent use of unlawful physical force by that other person.

Telem and Co He points out in an article that the term “reasonable” is used twice in the above-mentioned law. Your belief that force is being used or about to be used and your belief that your use of physical force is necessary to stop the attack must be reasonable under the circumstances if you are to successfully use the justification defense.

The above rule applies only to the use of physical force. No one may use lethal physical force — the type of force that can result in serious bodily injury or death —Unless that person has reasonable suspicion that lethal physical force is being used or is about to be used on himself or a third person.. However, even under these circumstances, the law imposes on a person a “duty to retreat” before that person can resort to the use of lethal physical force if they can retreat in complete safety.

the duty to retreat, and the laws of the “castle principle” and “steadfastness on the ground”.

Let’s first understand the concept of standing your ground. The “Stand Your Ground” law, which has been adopted in many states, states that when faced with deadly physical force, you do not have to back down even if you could do so. According to an article by a criminal justice attorney Cody WarnerIf you’re walking down the street and someone approaches you, pull a GunAnd he starts shooting at you, so you don’t have to hold back. If you are armed, you may draw your handgun and return fire as long as you reasonably believe it necessary to defend yourself from the lethal physical force of the other person.

But New York generally has duty-to-retract laws. So, if you know you can safely and in complete personal integrity retreat from the above scenario, you are bound to do so and cannot use lethal physical force. So, the question is not whether you can actually withdraw with complete personal security, but whether you know you can safely withdraw.

Although New York does not espouse your position, it does follow a similar doctrine called the “Castle Doctrine,” which allows individuals to use lethal force. Defend their homes against intruders. The main difference between these two is that the castle doctrine defines this justification for people in their homes, according to him FindLaw. The rationale is that your home is your “fortress” or safe haven, and that you should not run away from your home when defending it from invaders.

When can you use deadly force?

Under Section 35 of the New York Penal Code, you may use lethal force when you reasonably believe an attacker is using or is about to use lethal force. In most situations outside of your home, you have a limited duty to back off. In particular, you may not use deadly force if you know that you and any other persons being attacked can retreat with complete personal safety.

You can also use lethal force against a person who carries out an abduction, forcible rape, burglary, arson, or burglary of a dwelling or an occupied building, according to an article by Joey Jackson Law. These crimes are heinous enough that you are allowed to shoot or hit the perpetrator to save the victim(s) from serious injury or death.

Using physical force to arrest a civilian

Telem and Co He points out in an article that under New York law, civilians (other than police or peace officers) are allowed to arrest citizens for crimes actually committed in their presence. A civilian is permitted to use physical force (but not lethal physical force) when he reasonably believes that force is necessary to apprehend or prevent the escape from custody of a person who he or she reasonably believes has committed a crime or crime and who has actually committed the crime or crime. This means that in a situation where physical force is used to make an arrest, it is not enough to reasonably believe that the person has committed a crime, you must be right. You will not be able to use the justification defense and may be prosecuted if you make a mistake about whether or not the person committed a crime.

In general, the use of lethal physical force to apprehend a civilian will not be permitted unless the person reasonably believes that such force is necessary to apprehend a person. A person who has committed the crime of kidnapping, robbery, criminal act of forced sexual act, forcible rape, burglary, first-degree manslaughter, or murder. Lethal physical force may also be justified if, while you were under arrest for a non-violent offense of non-lethal physical force, the offender attempted to use lethal physical force against you or another person.

justification for self-defense

If you are facing criminal charges related to self-defense, FindLaw It is noted that justification is a defense in the following cases:

  • Use of physical force when such conduct is required or permitted by law or judicial ordinance or when performed by a public official exercising his or her duties, powers, and functions reasonably
  • Act as necessary as an emergency measure to avoid imminent public or private injury
  • The parent/guardian may use non-deadly physical force to maintain discipline or promote the child’s welfare
  • The warden or other correctional officer may use physical force to maintain discipline and order
  • The common carrier may use physical force to prevent death or serious bodily injury
  • The doctor may use physical force for treatment purposes
  • Any person may use physical force in self-defence, defense of a third party, property, to prevent theft, to arrest or prevent escape from custody

The specific circumstances in which self-defense is used can lead to different legal consequences. If you have any related questions or are facing criminal charges related to self-defense, consult an attorney for expert legal advice.


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