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Self-Defense Law In Alabama, Right To Defend Yourself

Old Faithful
 
December 3, 2008 7:01 PM

Law states, RE: Link
 
 
 
Hall of Famer
 
December 3, 2008 7:50 PM

I remember when that was passed. either the ACLU or the NAACP raised a stink, because they claimed it was going to affect one particular segment of the population more than others. Roll Eyes
 
 
 
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Post Master
 
December 3, 2008 8:24 PM

The only problem I have with it is that no DA will be able to prove if a person was really in fear of their life. Who are they going to ask, the dead person?

Technically, I could invite someone over kill them and claim I feared for my life because they started acting crazy and would not leave, and there is no way to prove if I am lying or not.
 
 
 
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Small Talker
 
December 4, 2008 5:10 PM

bluesman,
I have always heard you couldn't shoot them until they broke into the house or were in it,
what if they're outside trying to come in a window or something like that, attempting to kick down the door but haven't kicked it down yet, or in the process of breaking in your car, I wish they would right it more specific so I could understand,
 
 
 
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Post Master
 
December 4, 2008 5:19 PM

my take on it,it is worded in such a way the victim of the "crime" would have to PROVE their stance of fearing for their life,and somehow that simply does not seem right either.
 
 
 
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Hall of Famer
 
December 4, 2008 5:23 PM

The stories about waiting until they were in the house, (or drag them in after you shoot them), etc. have to do with the fact that you cannot use deadly force to defend PROPERTY. You can use deadly force to protect yourself and your family. If they're breaking into your car, you can't legally just shoot them (as much as you might like to). You must reasonably believe that your life or safety is in danger to justifiably use deadly force.
 
 
 
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Post Master
 
December 4, 2008 5:31 PM

okay,I got that ,,but what if your house has been broken into by an intruder and after the fact you have shot them it is discovered they had no weapons on them,,what happens then?
I ask this because most people when awaken suddenly in the middle of the night realizing someone is in their house is making decisions with a groggy brain
 
 
 
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Hall of Famer
 
December 5, 2008 5:01 PM

What happens then is up to a jury. If they believe that you reasonably believed your life was in danger, they should not convict. You're absolutely right about getting awakened (or at least if you sleep like I do). It would take me five minutes to get coherent enough to probably think completely rationally and that should be taken into consideration. I know this may not be answering your question, but there's no "rule" that says what happens under those circumstances. You have a right to protect yourself and your family. If it's reasonable to think that you need to employ deadly force, then hopefully the jury would acquit. In a situation where someone was literally sitting and waiting for someone to come in and then start blasting without even seeing a weapon, then maybe the result is different. But the jury is supposed to employ a "reasonable person" standard when deciding whether it was a justified shooting or a criminal act.
 
 
 
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Small Talker
 
December 7, 2008 7:43 PM

Defense of persons

Section 13A-3-23
Use of force in defense of a person.
(a) A person is justified in using physical force upon another person in order to defend himself or herself or a third person from what he or she reasonably believes to be the use or imminent use of unlawful physical force by that other person, and he or she may use a degree of force which he or she reasonably believes to be necessary for the purpose. A person may use deadly physical force, and is legally presumed to be justified in using deadly physical force in self-defense or the defense of another person pursuant to subdivision (4), if the person reasonably believes that another person is:

(1) Using or about to use unlawful deadly physical force.

(2) Using or about to use physical force against an occupant of a dwelling while committing or attempting to commit a burglary of such dwelling.

(3) Committing or about to commit a kidnapping in any degree, assault in the first or second degree, burglary in any degree, robbery in any degree, forcible rape, or forcible sodomy.

(4) In the process of unlawfully and forcefully entering, or has unlawfully and forcefully entered, a dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle, or federally licensed nuclear power facility, or is in the process of sabotaging or attempting to sabotage a federally licensed nuclear power facility, or is attempting to remove, or has forcefully removed, a person against his or her will from any dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle when the person has a legal right to be there, and provided that the person using the deadly physical force knows or has reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry or unlawful and forcible act is occurring. The legal presumption that a person using deadly physical force is justified to do so pursuant to this subdivision does not apply if:

a. The person against whom the defensive force is used has the right to be in or is a lawful resident of the dwelling, residence, or vehicle, such as an owner or lessee, and there is not an injunction for protection from domestic violence or a written pretrial supervision order of no contact against that person;

b. The person sought to be removed is a child or grandchild, or is otherwise in the lawful custody or under the lawful guardianship of, the person against whom the defensive force is used;

c. The person who uses defensive force is engaged in an unlawful activity or is using the dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle to further an unlawful activity; or

d. The person against whom the defensive force is used is a law enforcement officer acting in the performance of his or her official duties.

(b) A person who is justified under subsection (a) in using physical force, including deadly physical force, and who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and is in any place where he or she has the right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground.

(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a), a person is not justified in using physical force if:

(1) With intent to cause physical injury or death to another person, he or she provoked the use of unlawful physical force by such other person.

(2) He or she was the initial aggressor, except that his or her use of physical force upon another person under the circumstances is justifiable if he or she withdraws from the encounter and effectively communicates to the other person his or her intent to do so, but the latter person nevertheless continues or threatens the use of unlawful physical force.

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

(d) A person who uses force, including deadly physical force, as justified and permitted in this section is immune from criminal prosecution and civil action for the use of such force, unless the force was determined to be unlawful.

(e) A law enforcement agency may use standard procedures for investigating the use of force described in subsection (a), but the agency may not arrest the person for using force unless it determines that there is probable cause that the force used was unlawful.

Defense of Premises

a) A person in lawful possession or control of premises, as defined in Section 13A-3-20, or a person who is licensed or privileged to be thereon, may use physical force upon another person when and to the extent that he reasonably believes it necessary to prevent or terminate what he reasonably believes to be the commission or attempted commission of a criminal trespass by the other person in or upon such premises.

(b) A person may use deadly physical force under the circumstances set forth in subsection (a) of this section only:

(1) In defense of a person, as provided in Section 13A-3-23; or

(2) When he reasonably believes it necessary to prevent the commission of arson in the first or second degree by the trespasser.
 
 
 
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New Kid on the Block
 
August 25, 2010 9:52 AM

It is so important for all of us to research the Alabama Self Defense Laws and the relatively new "Castle Doctrine". These were both recently passed/adjusted by our Govenor within the last few years. With the Castle doctrine in place you Absolutely have the right to defend yourself,your house(castle), your property, your car(if occupied) with deadly force if reasonably necessary. This includes robbery, rape, kidnapping in any degree. There are other circumstances as well that you may use deadly force. I suggest that you look up these newer laws and absolutely speak to a lawyer. Do not use information that you think you "remember" from the past or from word of mouth. Even if you really trust the person giving you the info. READ THE NEW LAWS AND TALK TO A LAWYER. most of you that have posted here are incorrect!! Please educate yourself properly!!
 
 
 
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Hall of Famer
 
August 25, 2010 12:23 PM

quote:
Originally posted by deco2:
bluesman,
I have always heard you couldn't shoot them until they broke into the house or were in it,
what if they're outside trying to come in a window or something like that, attempting to kick down the door but haven't kicked it down yet, or in the process of breaking in your car, I wish they would right it more specific so I could understand,


In TN if you break the plane your are in i.e. once any part of your body or extension, weapon etc. passes thru a door or window they have broken in. In a dwelling, residence or car the intruder has already proven intent and ability the only thing missing is fear for your life. In other situations you must prove the intent and ability.
 
 
 
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Hall of Famer
 
August 25, 2010 5:32 PM

quote:
Originally posted by smurph:
okay,I got that ,,but what if your house has been broken into by an intruder and after the fact you have shot them it is discovered they had no weapons on them,,what happens then?
I ask this because most people when awaken suddenly in the middle of the night realizing someone is in their house is making decisions with a groggy brain


Just by the fact that they are in my house, I am going to be in fear of my life and will use deadly force to defend myself if need be.

I thought the entire purpose of the 'castle doctrine.'
 
 
 
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Old Faithful
 
August 25, 2010 5:41 PM

quote:
Originally posted by smurph:
okay,I got that ,,but what if your house has been broken into by an intruder and after the fact you have shot them it is discovered they had no weapons on them,,what happens then?
I ask this because most people when awaken suddenly in the middle of the night realizing someone is in their house is making decisions with a groggy brain


If you reasonably believe you are in danger, it doesn't matter if they have a weapon or not.

In the craft of self defense, it's described as impersonating a duck. If it walks like a duck, has feathers like a duck, a bill like a duck, and webbed feet like a duck, and you shoot it, but it turns out to be a goose, it's guilty of impersonating a duck in duck season.

If the bad guy makes you think he's there to do you harm, then that's a reasonable fear. Regardless of whether he's armed or not.
 
 
 
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