Reasonable Force

Reasonable Force

The amount of force necessary to protect oneself or one's property. Reasonable force is a term associated with defending one's person or property from a violent attack, theft, or other type of unlawful aggression. It may be used as a defense in a criminal trial or to defend oneself in a suit alleging tortious conduct. If one uses excessive force, or more than the force necessary for such protection, he or she may be considered to have forfeited the right to defense. Reasonable force is also known as legal force.

A person is generally justified in using force that is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm if the person reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent the commission of a forcible felony. The person is also generally justified in using such extreme force to prevent or terminate another's unlawful entry into or attack upon a dwelling, if: (1) the entry is made or attempted in a violent manner and he reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent personal violence to himself or another then in the dwelling, or (2) he reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent the commission of a felony in the dwelling.

References in periodicals archive ?
Officers arrested two male onlookers and one had to be restrained using reasonable force.
Can I make a citizen's arrest if I catch someone allowing their dog to foul the pavement and not picking it up, and am I allowed to use reasonable force to hold onto them until police arrive?
Rajiv Menon QC, for Mrs Webster, said although reasonable force was initially used to restrain Mr Webster he was then held in a neck lock for eight minutes, which had been "excessive, disproportionate and unlawful".
I will perceive anyone coming into my house or family's house with the intent to harm or kill and I will use all reasonable force to stop them, which the law states I can use if I feel my life or others are in danger.
Don't worry we are now allowed to use reasonable force to stop them, but we are old pensioners, so we must come up with a cunning plan.
Harwood, of Carshalton, Surrey, maintains that he used reasonable force and denies manslaughter.
PADRAIG Nally's supporters fear new anti-burglar laws, which allow householders to use reasonable force to defend themselves, don't go far enough.
I'm not in any doubt the ticket collector would be entitled to use reasonable force if this guy wasn't prepared to go.
The Government wants to strengthen the law to ensure people can use reasonable force to defend property, other people and themselves.
The proposed changes will make clear that people are under no duty to retreat from an attacker when acting in self defence and can also use reasonable force to defend their property, as well as themselves.
People are entitled to use reasonable force in self-defence to defend themselves, their family and their property.
The engineer had been due to answer bail next Monday but yesterday the North West's Chief Crown Prosecutor, Nazir Afzal, ruled Mr Flanagan used reasonable force when he was disturbed by intruders shortly before midnight on June 22.

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