3 By Senator Allen
4 RFD: Judiciary
5 First Read: 02-FEB-21
1 208759-1:n:11/30/2020:CMH/ma LSA2020-2331
8 SYNOPSIS: Under existing law, a person in lawful
9 possession or control of premises or a person who
10 is licensed or privileged to be on premises, may
11 use physical force upon another person when and to
12 the extent that he or she reasonably believes it is
13 necessary to prevent or terminate what he or she
14 reasonably believes to be the commission or
15 attempted commission of a criminal trespass by the
16 other person in or upon the premises.
17 Also under existing law, a person may use
18 deadly physical force to defend premises when the
19 person reasonably believes a trespasser is in the
20 commission or attempted commission of arson against
21 the premises.
22 This bill would further provide for the use
23 of deadly physical force to defend premises by
24 providing that if an active riot is occurring
25 within 500 feet of the premises, a person in lawful
26 possession or control of the premises may use
1 deadly physical force to defend the premises from
2 criminal mischief or burglary.
3 This bill would also make nonsubstantive,
4 technical revisions to update the language to
5 current code style.
7 A BILL
8 TO BE ENTITLED
9 AN ACT
11 Relating to self-defense; to amend Sections
12 13A-3-20, 13A-3-25, and 13A-3-27, Code of Alabama 1975, to
13 provide further for the right to use force in defense of
14 premises; and to make nonsubstantive, technical revisions to
15 update the language to current code style.
16 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF ALABAMA:
17 Section 1. Sections 13A-3-20, 13A-3-25, and
18 13A-3-27, Code of Alabama 1975, are amended to read as
21 "The following definitions are applicable to this
23 "(1) BUILDING. Any structure which may be entered
24 and utilized by persons for business, public use, lodging, or
25 the storage of goods, and includes any vehicle, aircraft, or
26 watercraft used for the lodging of persons or carrying on
27 business therein. Each unit of a building consisting of two or
1 more units separately occupied or secured is a separate
3 "(2) DEADLY PHYSICAL FORCE. Force which, under the
4 circumstances in which it is used, is readily capable of
5 causing death or serious physical injury.
6 "(3) DWELLING. A building which is usually occupied
7 by a person lodging therein at night, or a building of any
8 kind, including any attached balcony, whether the building is
9 temporary or permanent, mobile or immobile, which has a roof
10 over it, and is designed to be occupied by people lodging
11 therein at night.
12 "(4) FORCE. Physical action or threat against
13 another, including confinement.
14 "(5) PREMISES. The term includes any building, as
15 defined in this section, and any real property.
16 "(6) RESIDENCE. A dwelling in which a person resides
17 either temporarily or permanently or is visiting as an invited
19 "(7) VEHICLE. A motorized conveyance which is
20 designed to transport people or property.
22 "(a) A person in lawful possession or control of
23 premises, as defined in Section 13A-3-20, or a person who is
24 licensed or privileged to be thereon on premises, may use
25 physical force upon another person when and to the extent that
26 he or she reasonably believes it necessary to prevent or
27 terminate what he or she reasonably believes to be the
1 commission or attempted commission of a criminal trespass by
2 the other person in or upon such the premises.
3 "(b) A person may use deadly physical force under
4 the circumstances set forth in subsection (a) of this section
5 only under any of the following conditions:
6 "(1) In defense of a person, as provided in Section
7 13A-3-23; or.
8 "(2) When he or she reasonably believes it is
9 necessary to use physical force, deadly or otherwise, to
10 prevent the commission of arson in the first or second degree
11 by the trespasser.
12 "(3) If the premises are located within 500 feet of
13 an active riot, when he or she reasonably believes it is
14 necessary to use physical force, deadly or otherwise, to
15 prevent the commission of criminal mischief or burglary by the
18 "(a) A peace officer is justified in using that
19 degree of physical force which he or she reasonably believes
20 to be necessary, upon a person in order do either of the
22 "(1) To make an arrest for a misdemeanor, violation,
23 or violation of a criminal ordinance, or to prevent the escape
24 from custody of a person arrested for a misdemeanor,
25 violation, or violation of a criminal ordinance, unless the
26 peace officer knows that the arrest is unauthorized; or.
1 "(2) To defend himself or herself or a third person
2 from what he the officer reasonably believes to be the use or
3 imminent use of physical force while making or attempting to
4 make an arrest for a misdemeanor, violation, or violation of a
5 criminal ordinance, or while preventing or attempting to
6 prevent an escape from custody of a person who has been
7 legally arrested for a misdemeanor, violation, or violation of
8 a criminal ordinance.
9 "(b) A peace officer is justified in using deadly
10 physical force upon another person when and to the extent that
11 he or she reasonably believes it necessary in order to do
12 either of the following:
13 "(1) To make an arrest for a felony or to prevent
14 the escape from custody of a person arrested for a felony,
15 unless the officer knows that the arrest is unauthorized; or.
16 "(2) To defend himself or herself or a third person
17 from what he the officer reasonably believes to be the use or
18 imminent use of deadly physical force.
19 "(c) Nothing in subdivision (a)(1), or (b)(1), or
20 (f)(2) constitutes justification for reckless or criminally
21 negligent conduct by a peace officer amounting to an offense
22 against or with respect to persons being arrested or to
23 innocent persons whom he the officer is not seeking to arrest
24 or retain in custody.
25 "(d) A peace officer who is effecting an arrest
26 pursuant to a warrant is justified in using the physical force
1 prescribed authorized in subsections (a) and (b) unless the
2 warrant is invalid and is known by the officer to be invalid.
3 "(e) Except as provided in subsection (f), a person
4 who has been directed by a peace officer to assist him to
5 effect an arrest or to prevent an escape from custody is
6 justified in using physical force when and to the extent that
7 he the person reasonably believes that force to be necessary
8 to carry out the peace officer's direction.
9 "(f) A person who has been directed to assist a
10 peace officer under circumstances specified in subsection (e)
11 may use deadly physical force to effect an arrest or to
12 prevent an escape only when under either of the following
14 "(1) He The person reasonably believes that force to
15 be is necessary to defend himself or herself or a third person
16 from what he the person reasonably believes to be the use or
17 imminent use of deadly physical force; or.
18 "(2) He The person is authorized by the peace
19 officer to use deadly physical force and does not know that
20 the peace officer himself is not authorized to use deadly
21 physical force under the circumstances.
22 "(g) A private person acting on his or her own
23 account is justified in using physical force upon another
24 person when and to the extent that he or she reasonably
25 believes it necessary to effect an arrest or to prevent the
26 escape from custody of an arrested person whom he or she
27 reasonably believes has committed a felony and who in fact has
1 committed that felony, but he; provided, however, the person
2 is justified in using deadly physical force for the purpose
3 only when he or she reasonably believes it necessary to defend
4 himself or herself or a third person from what he or she
5 reasonably believes to be the use or imminent use of deadly
6 physical force.
7 "(h)(1) A guard or peace officer employed in a
8 detention facility is justified in doing any of the following:
9 "(1) In using a. Using deadly physical force when
10 and to the extent that he or she reasonably believes it
11 necessary to prevent what he or she reasonably believes to be
12 the escape of a prisoner accused or convicted of a felony from
13 any detention facility, or from an armed escort or guard;.
14 "(2)b. In using physical force, but not deadly
15 physical force, in all other circumstances when and to extent
16 that he or she reasonably believes it necessary to prevent
17 what he or she reasonably believes to be the escape of a
18 prisoner from a detention facility.
19 "(3)"Detention facility" (2) As used in this
20 subsection, detention facility means any place used for the
21 confinement, pursuant to law, of a person who has been:
22 "a. Charged with or convicted of an offense; or
23 "b. Charged with being or adjudicated a youthful
24 offender, a neglected minor, or juvenile delinquent; or
25 "c. Held for extradition; or
26 "d. Otherwise confined pursuant to an order of a
27 criminal court."
1 Section 2. This act shall become effective on the
2 first day of the third month following its passage and
3 approval by the Governor, or its otherwise becoming law.
Page 8Statutes affected:
Introduced: 13A-3-20, 13A-3-25, 13A-3-27