Defenses for the use of physical force



    There are many situations that occur in which an individual is charged with a committing a violent crime, when in reality, they were not trying to commit a crime. The question of self defense arises often in situations where an individual injured another party because they felt threatened. The penal code of New York State includes a provision regarding the use of physical force being justified for the safety of others. In a situation where the court determines physical force was used justifiably, the individual who used force will not face a criminal conviction for that action.

    These circumstances where physical force is acceptable include the following:

    • Jail, prison or correctional facility officials who use force to maintain order
    • Parents or guardians who care for a person under the age of 21 to discipline and promote welfare of the person; the physical force must not be deadly
    • An individual with reasonable belief that another individual is on the verge of seriously harming themselves or committing suicide in an attempt to stop the injury or death from happening
    • A licensed physician who must administer treatment to an individual who has a mental health or physical illness or injury
    • A person who is defending themselves, their premises, or another individual from a person who is trying to commit larceny, criminal mischief, kidnapping, forcible rape, robbery, or burglary

    If you have been charged with a crime involving the use of physical force but believe you were defending yourself, a property, or another individual, it is important to consult with an experienced attorney who can explore the defenses that may apply to you.

    If you are in need of experienced legal counsel for a criminal defense matter in New York State, please contact Grunwald & Seman, P.C. and we would be happy to assist you.

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