Statute:

Justification; use of physical force in defense of a person

ยง 35.15 Justification; use of physical force in defense of a person.

1. A person may, subject to the provisions of subdivision two, use
physical force upon another person when and to the extent he or she
reasonably believes such to be necessary to defend himself, herself or a
third person from what he or she reasonably believes to be the use or
imminent use of unlawful physical force by such other person, unless:

(a) The latter's conduct was provoked by the actor with intent to
cause physical injury to another person; or

(b) The actor was the initial aggressor; except that in such case the
use of physical force is nevertheless justifiable if the actor has
withdrawn from the encounter and effectively communicated such
withdrawal to such other person but the latter persists in continuing
the incident by the use or threatened imminent use of unlawful physical
force; or

(c) The physical force involved is the product of a combat by
agreement not specifically authorized by law.

2. A person may not use deadly physical force upon another person
under circumstances specified in subdivision one unless:

(a) The actor reasonably believes that such other person is using or
about to use deadly physical force. Even in such case, however, the
actor may not use deadly physical force if he or she knows that with
complete personal safety, to oneself and others he or she may avoid the
necessity of so doing by retreating; except that the actor is under no
duty to retreat if he or she is:

(i) in his or her dwelling and not the initial aggressor; or

(ii) a police officer or peace officer or a person assisting a police
officer or a peace officer at the latter's direction, acting pursuant to
section 35.30; or

(b) He or she reasonably believes that such other person is committing
or attempting to commit a kidnapping, forcible rape, forcible criminal
sexual act or robbery; or

(c) He or she reasonably believes that such other person is committing
or attempting to commit a burglary, and the circumstances are such that
the use of deadly physical force is authorized by subdivision three of
section 35.20.

PEN 35.15 2014-09-22

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