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When Is The Use Of Deadly Physical Force Justified In New York State?

What is Deadly Physical Force?

Under the New York State Penal Code, Deadly Physical Force is defined as physical force which under the circumstances in which it is used, is readily capable of causing death or other serious physical injury.

There are only two kinds of circumstances in which Deadly Physical Force may be used: to prevent and terminate a crime and to arrest after a crime is committed.

Who can use Deadly Physical Force?

Although there is a different criterion for each, a Police Officer, Peace Officer and a Person can use Deadly Physical Force as long as it is justified such as self defense.

In order for a Person to be justified in using Deadly Physical Force, he/she must be factually correct that the person committing the crime is actually: using Deadly Physical Force on the Person or a 3rd person, committing Robbery, committing Arson, committing Burglary (it is advised that the Person retreat whenever possible), kidnapping, committing Forcible Rape, and/or committing Forcible Sodomy (Criminal Sexual Act).

In order for a Police Officer or Peace Officer to be justified in using Deadly Physical Force, he/she only needs reasonable grounds to believe a certain crime has occurred. However, the Penal Code also states that a Police Officer’s and a Peace Officer’s ability to use such as force does not constitute to justifying recklessness.