CHAPTER 951*
PENAL CODE: STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION;
PRINCIPLES OF CRIMINAL LIABILITY

      *Cited. 204 C. 630. Cited. 209 C. 75. Sec. 53a-5-53a-23 cited. 227 C. 32.

      Necessity defense not precluded by the penal code. 19 CA 432. Cited. 23 CA 615.


Table of Contents

Sec. 53a-4. Saving clause.
Sec. 53a-5. Criminal liability; mental state required.
Sec. 53a-6. Effect of ignorance or mistake.
Sec. 53a-7. Effect of intoxication.
Sec. 53a-8. Criminal liability for acts of another.
Sec. 53a-9. Lack of criminal responsibility; absence of prosecution or conviction not a defense.
Sec. 53a-10. Defense.
Sec. 53a-11. Criminal liability of individual for conduct in name of or on behalf of corporation or limited liability company.
Sec. 53a-12. Defenses; burden of proof.
Sec. 53a-13. Lack of capacity due to mental disease or defect as affirmative defense.
Sec. 53a-14. Duress as defense.
Sec. 53a-15. Entrapment as defense.
Sec. 53a-16. Justification as defense.
Sec. 53a-16a. Affirmative defense in certain situations involving firearms; exceptions.
Sec. 53a-16b. Affirmative defense of coparticipant to offense with firearm.
Sec. 53a-17. Conduct required or authorized by law or judicial decree.
Sec. 53a-18. Use of reasonable physical force or deadly physical force generally.
Sec. 53a-19. Use of physical force in defense of person.
Sec. 53a-20. Use of physical force in defense of premises.
Sec. 53a-21. Use of physical force in defense of property.
Sec. 53a-22. Use of physical force in making arrest or preventing escape.
Sec. 53a-23. Use of physical force to resist arrest not justified.

      Sec. 53a-4. Saving clause. The provisions of this chapter shall not be construed as precluding any court from recognizing other principles of criminal liability or other defenses not inconsistent with such provisions.

      (1969, P.A. 828, S. 4.)

      Cited. 209 C. 75. Cited. 227 C. 32. Cited. 229 C. 60. Cited. 233 C. 174. Cited. 236 C. 266.

      Cited. 23 CA 615. Cited. 30 CA 470; Id., 527. Cited. 32 CA 224. Cited. 36 CA 680.


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      Sec. 53a-5. Criminal liability; mental state required. When the commission of an offense defined in this title, or some element of an offense, requires a particular mental state, such mental state is ordinarily designated in the statute defining the offense by use of the terms "intentionally", "knowingly", "recklessly" or "criminal negligence", or by use of terms, such as "with intent to defraud" and "knowing it to be false", describing a specific kind of intent or knowledge. When one and only one of such terms appears in a statute defining an offense, it is presumed to apply to every element of the offense unless an intent to limit its application clearly appears.

      (1969, P.A. 828, S. 5.)

      Cited. 173 C. 35. Cited. 186 C. 45. Cited. 201 C. 505. Cited. 202 C. 520. Cited. 209 C. 75. Cited. 235 C. 477. Cited. 242 C. 211. When a statute requires state to prove that defendant intentionally engaged in the statutorily proscribed conduct, section does not require court to presume that the statute requires state to prove that defendant had knowledge of a circumstance described in the statute. 265 C. 35.

      Cited. 9 CA 161; Id., 686. Cited. 17 CA 339. Cited. 19 CA 609. Cited. 40 CA 643.


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      Sec. 53a-6. Effect of ignorance or mistake. (a) A person shall not be relieved of criminal liability for conduct because he engages in such conduct under a mistaken belief of fact, unless: (1) Such factual mistake negates the mental state required for the commission of an offense; or (2) the statute defining the offense or a statute related thereto expressly provides that such factual mistake constitutes a defense or exemption; or (3) such factual mistake is of a kind that supports a defense of justification.

      (b) A person shall not be relieved of criminal liability for conduct because he engages in such conduct under a mistaken belief that it does not, as a matter of law, constitute an offense, unless (1) the law provides that the state of mind established by such mistaken belief constitutes a defense, or unless (2) such mistaken belief is founded upon an official statement of law contained in a statute or other enactment, an administrative order or grant of permission, a judicial decision of a state or federal court, or an interpretation of the statute or law relating to the offense, officially made or issued by a public servant, agency or body legally charged or empowered with the responsibility or privilege of administering, enforcing or interpreting such statute or law.

      (1969, P.A. 828, S. 6.)

      Defendant entitled as matter of law to a theory of defense instruction when evidence of defense under this section is placed before jury. 178 C. 704. Cited. 199 C. 537. Cited. 204 C. 240. Cited. 209 C. 75.

      Subsec. (a):

      Subdiv. (1) cited. 198 C. 454. Subdiv. (3) cited. Id. Cited. 210 C. 132. When mistake of fact defense arises and when jury instruction re mistake of fact is required. 246 C. 268.

      Subsec. (b):

      Cited. 17 CA 326.


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      Sec. 53a-7. Effect of intoxication. Intoxication shall not be a defense to a criminal charge, but in any prosecution for an offense evidence of intoxication of the defendant may be offered by the defendant whenever it is relevant to negate an element of the crime charged, provided when recklessness or criminal negligence is an element of the crime charged, if the actor, due to self-induced intoxication, is unaware of or disregards or fails to perceive a risk which he would have been aware of had he not been intoxicated, such unawareness, disregard or failure to perceive shall be immaterial. As used in this section, "intoxication" means a substantial disturbance of mental or physical capacities resulting from the introduction of substances into the body.

      (1969, P.A. 828, S. 7.)

      Cited. 172 C. 65. Cited. 173 C. 35. Cited 176 C. 224. Cited. 178 C. 480. A defendant is entitled, as matter of law, to a theory of defense instruction when evidence under this section is before jury. Id., 704. Cited. 184 C. 121. Cited. 185 C. 63. Cited. 186 C. 414. Cited. 189 C. 611. Cited. 193 C. 632. Cited. 196 C. 341. Cited. 198 C. 560; Id., 644. Cited. 199 C. 102. Cited. 201 C. 190. Cited. 204 C. 240. Cited. 209 C. 75. Cited. 210 C. 481. Cited. 212 C. 195. Cited. 217 C. 648. Cited. 223 C. 41; Id., 273. Cited. 234 C. 139.

      Cited. 1 CA 260. Cited. 6 CA 701. Cited. 10 CA 643. Cited. 11 CA 122. Cited. 16 CA 358. Cited. 22 CA 521. Cited. 23 CA 315; Id., 502. Cited. 24 CA 678. Cited. 25 CA 456. Cited. 27 CA 73. Cited. 35 CA 699. Cited. 37 CA 404. Cited. 41 CA 361. Cited. 44 CA 818. Application of section. 51 CA 345. Trial court did not improperly exclude proffered evidence re defendant's claim of intoxication at time of murder. 91 CA 169. While intoxication is neither a defense nor an affirmative defense to a murder charge, evidence of defendant's intoxication is relevant to negate specific intent which is an essential element of crime of murder; however, intoxication does not automatically negate intent. 95 CA 263.


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      Sec. 53a-8. Criminal liability for acts of another. (a) A person, acting with the mental state required for commission of an offense, who solicits, requests, commands, importunes or intentionally aids another person to engage in conduct which constitutes an offense shall be criminally liable for such conduct and may be prosecuted and punished as if he were the principal offender.

      (b) A person who sells, delivers or provides any firearm, as defined in subdivision (19) of section 53a-3, to another person to engage in conduct which constitutes an offense knowing or under circumstances in which he should know that such other person intends to use such firearm in such conduct shall be criminally liable for such conduct and shall be prosecuted and punished as if he were the principal offender.

      (1969, P.A. 828, S. 8; 1971, P.A. 871, S. 2; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 92-2.)

      History: 1971 act specified that person who requests, commands, aids, etc. another in the commission of an offense "may be prosecuted and punished as if he were the principal offender"; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 92-2 added Subsec. (b) re criminal liability for the conduct of another person with a firearm.

      Passive acquiescence or doing of innocent acts which in fact aid in commission of crime, is insufficient to support conviction under accessory statute. 169 C. 581. To establish guilt of accused as accessory under this section governing criminal liability for conduct of another, state must prove criminality of intent and community of unlawful purpose. 170 C. 332. Cited. Id., 417. Cited. 172 C. 322. Cited. 174 C. 500. Cited. 175 C. 155. Cited. 176 C. 131. Propriety of a charge on aiding and abetting predicated on sufficiency of evidence heard during trial. Id., 508. Cited. 177 C. 140. Cited. 178 C. 163; Id., 689. Cited. 179 C. 1. Jury instruction an intent under statute discussed. 182 C. 366. Cited. Id., 501. Cited. 184 C. 369. Cited. 185 C. 163; Id., 260. Cited. 187 C. 513. Cited. 188 C. 432; Id., 542. Cited. 189 C. 337; Id., 383. Cited. 190 C. 822. Cited. 191 C. 27; Id., 659. Cited. 192 C. 383. Cited. 194 C. 96; Id., 198. Cited. 195 C. 128; Id., 598. Cited. 196 C. 225. Cited. 197 C. 436. Cited. 198 C. 158; Id., 255; Id., 328. Cited. 199 C. 14; Id., 473; Id., 591; Id., 693. Cited. 200 C. 9; Id., 523; Id., 685. Cited. 201 C. 125; Id., 289; Id., 395; Id., 489. Cited. 202 C. 520; Id., 615. Cited. 203 C. 420. Cited. 204 C. 240; Id., 630. Cited. 207 C. 323. Cited. 208 C. 38. Cited. 209 C. 75; Id., 290; Id., 458. Cited. 210 C. 435. Cited. 211 C. 1; Id., 289; Id., 398. Cited. 212 C. 593. Cited. 213 C. 708. Cited. 214 C. 122; Id., 344; Id., 454. Cited. 215 C. 570; Id., 716; Id., 739. Cited. 216 C. 367; Id., 492. Cited. 217 C. 243. Cited. 219 C. 596. Cited. 220 C. 270. Cited. 221 C. 430; Id., 925. Cited. 222 C. 469. Cited. 223 C. 243; Id., 384; Id., 595; Id., 703. Cited. 225 C. 270; Id., 347. Cited. 227 C. 32; Id., 207; Id., 231. Cited. 228 C. 582; Id., 918. Cited. 230 C. 351; Id., 608; Id., 686; Id., 698. Cited. 231 C. 545. Cited. 232 C. 455. Cited. 233 C. 304. Cited. 234 C. 683. Cited. 235 C. 402; Id., 473; Id., 748. Cited. 236 C. 514. Cited. 237 C. 518. Cited. 238 C. 784. Cited. 239 C. 235. Cited. 240 C. 395; Id., 727. Cited. 241 C. 1; Id., 322; Id., 502; Id., 702. Cited. 242 C. 125; Id., 211; Id., 409. Cited. Id., 666. Conviction under section requires state to prove defendant's dual intent first that accessory have the intent to aid the principal and second that in so aiding he intends to commit offense with which he is charged. 252 C. 714. Principles of accessorial liability may be used to prove aggravating factors in penalty phase of a capital case. 271 C. 338.

      Cited. 4 CA 676. Cited. 7 CA 503; Id., 701. Cited. 9 CA 161; Id., 228. Cited. 11 CA 575; Id., 621; Id., 699; Id., 805. Cited. 12 CA 1. Being an accessory to breach of the peace is a cognizable crime. Id., 74. Cited. Id., 343. Cited. 13 CA 76; Id., 554. Cited. 14 CA 1; Id., 205; Id., 445; Id., 472; Id., 493. Cited. 15 CA 122; Id., 416. Cited. 16 CA 89; Id., 333; Id., 455. Cited. 17 CA 50. Cited. 18 CA 175; Id., 184; Id., 730. Cited. 19 CA 179. Cited. 20 CA 410; Id., 665. Cited. 22 CA 216; Id., 329; Id., 340. Cited. 23 CA 123. Cited. 25 CA 318; Id., 565; Id., 646. Cited. 26 CA 33; Id., 641; Id., 779. Cited. 27 CA 1; Id., 558. Cited. 28 CA 126; Id., 306; Id., 474; Id., 575; Id., 721. Cited. 29 CA 59; Id., 304; Id., 499. Cited. 30 CA 190; Id., 232. Cited. 31 CA 47; Id., 614. Cited. 32 CA 224; Id., 831. Cited. 33 CA 143; Id., 288. Cited. 34 CA 223; Id., 717, see 37 CA 509. Cited. 35 CA 138; Id., 360; Id., 527; Id., 781. Cited. 36 CA 190; Id., 454; Id., 473; Id., 753; Id., 774. Cited. 37 CA 35; Id., 40; Id., 276; Id., 509; Id., 574. Cited. 38 CA 777. Cited. 39 CA 224; Id., 242; Id., 579. Cited. 40 CA 47; Id., 470; Id., 526; Id., 789. Cited. 41 CA 47; Id., 565. Cited. 42 CA 555. Cited. 44 CA 499; Id., 790. Cited. 45 CA 270. Cited. 46 CA 269; Id., 640; Id., 778. Statute does not provide for a separate, substantive offense but provides alternate means by which the underlying substantive crime may be committed. 49 CA 121. Fact that defendant not formally charged as accessory does not preclude a conviction as such. Id., 183. State must prove that accused shared both the criminal intent and community of unlawful purpose with principal perpetrator of the crime. 63 CA 466. Court's charge re accessorial liability properly tracks language of section and correctly explained that acting as accessory merely is an alternative means of committing the substantive offense. 81 CA 152. When defendant is charged with manslaughter in the first degree with a firearm as an accessory, state must prove that defendant intended to inflict serious physical injury and to aid the principal in doing so, but does not have to also prove that defendant intended the use, carrying or threatened use of the firearm. 95 CA 362. There is no meaningful distinction between principal and accessory liability and defendant may be convicted as accessory even if charged as a principal. 105 CA 862. Evidence introduced at trial was sufficient to establish intent and defendant's identity with respect to charges stemming from drug transaction. 110 CA 70.

      Defendant who operated boat while brother stole lobsters was criminally liable for intentionally aiding brother in the conduct that constituted the liable for intentionally aiding brother in the conduct that constituted the offense. 37 CS 809. Cited. 38 CS 301. Cited. 40 CS 38.

      Subsec. (a):

      Cited. 242 C. 485. Jury did not have to find that defendant actually wielded knife during robbery. It had to find that defendant was a participant in the robbery. 275 C. 534. Trial court properly rejected defendant's claim that a defense of duress, if credited, would negate the required mental state governing accessorial liability, specific intent and duress can coexist. 282 C. 281.

      Cited. 37 CA 464. Cited. 39 CA 333. To be guilty as accessory one must share the criminal intent and community of unlawful purpose with perpetrator of the crime and must knowingly and willfully assist perpetrator in the acts which prepare for, facilitate or consummate it. 77 CA 80.


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      Sec. 53a-9. Lack of criminal responsibility; absence of prosecution or conviction not a defense. In any prosecution for an offense in which the criminal liability of the defendant is based upon the conduct of another person under section 53a-8 it shall not be a defense that: (1) Such other person is not guilty of the offense in question because of lack of criminal responsibility or legal capacity or awareness of the criminal nature of the conduct in question or of the defendant's criminal purpose or because of other factors precluding the mental state required for the commission of the offense in question; or (2) such other person has not been prosecuted for or convicted of any offense based upon the conduct in question, or has been acquitted thereof, or has legal immunity from prosecution therefor; or (3) the offense in question, as defined, can be committed only by a particular class or classes of persons, and the defendant, not belonging to such class or classes, is for that reason legally incapable of committing the offense in an individual capacity.

      (1969, P.A. 828, S. 9.)

      Cited. 179 C. 1. Cited. 209 C. 75. Cited. 242 C. 409. Section clearly abrogates the judicially created doctrine of collateral estoppel to the extent that the doctrine would preclude retrial of the issue of the principal's guilt. 270 C. 458.

      Cited. 35 CA 138; Id., 360.


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      Sec. 53a-10. Defense. (a) In any prosecution in which the criminal liability of the defendant is based upon the conduct of another person under section 53a-8, it shall be a defense that the defendant terminated his complicity prior to the commission of the offense under circumstances: (1) Wholly depriving it of effectiveness in the commission of the offense, and (2) manifesting a complete and voluntary renunciation of his criminal purpose.

      (b) For purposes of this section, renunciation of criminal purpose is not voluntary if it is motivated, in whole or in part, by circumstances, not present or apparent at the inception of the actor's course of conduct, which increase the probability of detection or apprehension or which make more difficult the accomplishment of the criminal purpose. Renunciation is not complete if it is motivated by a decision to postpone the criminal conduct until a more advantageous time or to transfer the criminal effort to another but similar objective or victim.

      (1969, P.A. 828, S. 10; 1971, P.A. 871, S. 3.)

      History: 1971 act deleted word "affirmative" modifying "defense" in Subsec. (a).

      Cited. 176 C. 451. A defendant is entitled, as matter of law, to a theory of defense instruction when evidence under this section is before jury. 178 C. 704. Cited. 204 C. 240. Cited. 209 C. 75. Cited. 225 C. 270. Cited. 242 C. 409.

      Cited. 22 CA 216. Cited. 40 CA 526.


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      Sec. 53a-11. Criminal liability of individual for conduct in name of or on behalf of corporation or limited liability company. A person shall be criminally liable for conduct constituting an offense which such person performs or causes to be performed in the name of or on behalf of a corporation or limited liability company to the same extent as if such conduct were performed in such person's own name or on such person's behalf.

      (1969, P.A. 828, S. 11; P.A. 00-11; P.A. 10-32, S. 151.)

      History: P.A. 00-11 included conduct performed in the name of or in behalf of a limited liability company and made technical changes for purposes of gender neutrality; P.A. 10-32 made technical changes, effective May 10, 2010.

      Cited. 209 C. 75. Cited. 242 C. 345.

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      Sec. 53a-12. Defenses; burden of proof. (a) When a defense other than an affirmative defense, is raised at a trial, the state shall have the burden of disproving such defense beyond a reasonable doubt.

      (b) When a defense declared to be an affirmative defense is raised at a trial, the defendant shall have the burden of establishing such defense by a preponderance of the evidence.

      (1969, P.A. 828, S. 12.)

      Cited. 186 C. 414. Cited. 191 C. 659. Cited. 196 C. 519. Instructing the jury that it was the state's burden to prove intent beyond a reasonable doubt did not adequately inform the jury that it was the state's burden to disprove duress beyond a reasonable doubt. 199 C. 273. Cited. 204 C. 240. Cited. 209 C. 75; Id., 733. Cited. 218 C. 349. Cited. 219 C. 314. Cited. 225 C. 450. Cited. 227 C. 456. Cited. 228 C. 281. Cited. 230 C. 183. Cited. 236 C. 342.

      Cited. 6 CA 701. Cited. 8 CA 667. Cited. 10 CA 697. Cited. 11 CA 665. Cited. 14 CA 511. Cited. 17 CA 200; Id., 502; judgment reversed, see 213 C. 579.

      Cited. 34 CS 612. Statute does not become constitutionally vulnerable by reason of imposing on defendants the burden of establishing affirmative defenses. 35 CS 555.

      Subsec. (a):

      Cited. 186 C. 654. Cited. 188 C. 237; Id., 653. Cited. 194 C. 376. Cited. 203 C. 212. Cited. 209 C. 322. Cited. 210 C. 110. Cited. 220 C. 602. Cited. 228 C. 335. Cited. 231 C. 484. Cited. 232 C. 537. Cited. 233 C. 1. Cited. 234 C. 381.

      Cited. 3 CA 289. Cited. 5 CA 338. Cited. 10 CA 643, 647. Cited. 11 CA 102. Cited. 17 CA 97. Cited. 20 CA 75. Cited. 24 CA 556; Id., 624. Cited. 29 CA 262. Cited. 31 CA 140. Cited. 33 CA 782. Cited. 34 CA 368; see also 233 C. 517. Cited. 46 CA 216.

      Cited. 38 CS 619.

      Subsec. (b):

      Cited. 182 C. 388. Cited. 193 C. 695. Cited. 207 C. 374. Cited. 209 C. 733. Cited. 214 C. 540. Cited. 217 C. 648. Cited. 227 C. 456. Cited. 228 C. 281. Cited. 229 C. 328. Cited. 230 C. 351. Cited. 233 C. 403. Cited. 236 C. 189; Id., 342. Cited. 242 C. 93. Legislature not required to expressly declare an exception to culpability to be an affirmative defense for it to operate as an affirmative defense; statute does not prohibit judicially recognized affirmative defenses. 254 C. 107.

      Cited. 12 CA 32. Cited. 14 CA 511. Cited. 20 CA 342. Cited. 24 CA 678; Id., 670. Cited. 28 CA 91.

      Held unconstitutional insofar as it places a burden of proof on the defense. 33 CS 28.


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      Sec. 53a-13. Lack of capacity due to mental disease or defect as affirmative defense. (a) In any prosecution for an offense, it shall be an affirmative defense that the defendant, at the time he committed the proscribed act or acts, lacked substantial capacity, as a result of mental disease or defect, either to appreciate the wrongfulness of his conduct or to control his conduct within the requirements of the law.

      (b) It shall not be a defense under this section if such mental disease or defect was proximately caused by the voluntary ingestion, inhalation or injection of intoxicating liquor or any drug or substance, or any combination thereof, unless such drug was prescribed for the defendant by a prescribing practitioner, as defined in subdivision (22) of section 20-571, and was used in accordance with the directions of such prescription.

      (c) As used in this section, the terms mental disease or defect do not include (1) an abnormality manifested only by repeated criminal or otherwise antisocial conduct or (2) pathological or compulsive gambling.

      (1969, P.A. 828, S. 13; P.A. 79-49; P.A. 81-301, S. 1; P.A. 83-486, S. 1; P.A. 95-264, S. 64.)

      History: P.A. 79-49 clarified section by adding provisions concerning effect of use of drugs, intoxicating liquors or combinations of them on defense plea; P.A. 81-301 replaced the provision that "it shall be a defense that the defendant" lacked substantial capacity with "a defendant may be found guilty but not criminally responsible if" he lacked substantial capacity due to mental disease or defect, and replaced "It shall not be a defense under this section" with "A finding of criminal responsibility shall not be barred"; P.A. 83-486 divided section into Subsecs., amended Subsec. (a) by replacing "a defendant my be found guilty but not criminally responsible if" with "it shall be an affirmative defense that the defendant", and rephrasing parts of said Subsec., amended Subsec. (b) by replacing "A finding of criminal responsibility shall not be barred" with "It shall not be a defense under this section" and amended Subsec. (c) by providing that mental disease or defect does not include "pathological or compulsive gambling"; P.A. 95-264 amended Subsec. (b) to change "licensed" practitioner to "prescribing" practitioner and referenced the definition section (Revisor's note: The reference in Subsec. (b) to "prescribing practitioner, as defined in subdivision (21) of ..." was corrected editorially by the Revisors to "prescribing practitioner, as defined in subdivision (22) of ...").

      See Sec. 54-89a re court instructions to jury.

      Cited. 169 C. 13. Trial court did not err in concluding that the evidence was inadequate to raise the reasonable doubt as to the defendant's sanity necessary to warrant submitting the issue to the jury. 173 C. 35. Once substantial evidence tending to prove insanity is introduced, the presumption that the defendant was sane loses all operative effect. Id., 140. Whether a defendant has put his sanity in issue is a question of law, and once the sanity of the defendant has become an issue the state has the burden of proving the defendant sane beyond a reasonable doubt. 175 C. 204. Cited. 176 C. 224. State's affirmative evidence was sufficient to support conclusion that state had established sanity beyond a reasonable doubt. 178 C. 480. Contains only standard to determine insanity; previously accepted common law definitions and the "Durham" rule included in court instructions constituted harmful error. Id., 626. A defendant is entitled to a theory of defense instruction as a matter of law when evidence under this section is before jury. Id., 704. Cited. 182 C. 142; Id., 603. Cited. 185 C. 402. Cited. 187 C. 73; Id., 199. Cited. 189 C. 360. Cited. 191 C. 73; Id., 636. Cited. 192 C. 571. Cited. 193 C. 70; Id., 474. Cited. 196 C. 430. Cited. 198 C. 53; Id., 77; Id., 124; Id., 314; Id., 386; Id., 598. Cited. 200 C. 607. Cited. 201 C. 190; Id., 211. Cited. 202 C. 86. Cited. 203 C. 212. Cited. 206 C. 229. Cited. 208 C. 125. Cited. 209 C. 75; Id., 416. Cited. 211 C. 151; Id., 591. Cited. 218 C. 151; Id., 349; Id., 766. Cited. 225 C. 114; Id., 450. Cited. 227 C. 448; Id., 456. Cited. 228 C. 281. Cited. 229 C. 328. Cited. 230 C. 183; Id., 400. Cited. 234 C. 139. Cited. 242 C. 605. Defendant entitled to an instruction defining "wrongfulness" in terms of societal morality when, in light of the evidence, the distinction between illegality and societal morality bears upon defendant's insanity claim. 254 C. 88.

      The inclusion in the court's charge of language concerning the defendant's capacity to distinguish right from wrong, which involved the abandoned M'Naghten test, was error. 1 CA 697. Cited. 8 CA 307. Cited. 10 CA 302. Cited. 12 CA 32. Cited. 14 CA 511. Cited. 20 CA 342. Cited. 22 CA 669. Cited. 46 CA 486; Id., 734.

      State does not have to produce expert witnesses in order to sustain a conviction against a claim of insanity but may rely upon all the evidence in the case to carry its burden. 33 CS 704.

      Subsec. (a):

      Cited. 201 C. 174. Does not violate due process prohibition against relieving state of its burden of proving every element of crime beyond a reasonable doubt; court finds no constitutional requirement that sanity be considered an essential element of crime to be proved by state. 225 C. 450. Cited. 236 C. 189.

      Cited. 35 CA 94; judgment reversed, see 235 C. 185. Cited. 44 CA 70. Defendant not entitled to a jury instruction that distinguishes between legal and societal standards of wrongfulness if defendant fails to present any evidence that, at the time of the killing, he was aware that his actions were illegal but believed that they did not offend societal morality. 50 CA 312.

      Subsec. (b):

      Court's failure to define proximate cause as it related to this Subsec. did not constitute a manifest injustice to defendant that impaired the effectiveness or integrity of the trial so as to warrant plain error review. 62 CA 256.


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      Sec. 53a-14. Duress as defense. In any prosecution for an offense, it shall be a defense that the defendant engaged in the proscribed conduct because he was coerced by the use or threatened imminent use of physical force upon him or a third person, which force or threatened force a person of reasonable firmness in his situation would have been unable to resist. The defense of duress as defined in this section shall not be available to a person who intentionally or recklessly places himself in a situation in which it is probable that he will be subjected to duress.

      (1969, P.A. 828, S. 14.)

      A defendant is entitled to a theory of defense instruction as matter of law when evidence under this section is before jury. 178 C. 704. Duress as defense discussed. 184 C. 157. Instruction to jury that it was the state's burden to prove intent beyond a reasonable doubt did not adequately inform the jury that it was the state's burden to disprove duress beyond a reasonable doubt. 199 C. 273. Cited. 201 C. 211. Cited. 204 C. 240. Cited. 209 C. 75. Trial court did not err in refusing to provide a jury instruction that would have allowed jury to factor defendant's age into his defense of duress, independent and regardless of how defendant's age relates to age of his coercers, so as to account for the differences in how adolescents evaluate risk. Duress defense has both subjective and objective components. Subjective component is that defendant actually must have been coerced into the criminal action. Objective component requires that defendant have been coerced in circumstances under which a reasonable person in his situation would have been likewise unable to resist. 282 C. 281.

      Cited. 15 CA 34. Cited. 26 CA 367. Cited. 46 CA 486.

      Cited. 34 CS 612.


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      Sec. 53a-15. Entrapment as defense. In any prosecution for an offense, it shall be a defense that the defendant engaged in the proscribed conduct because he was induced to do so by a public servant, or by a person acting in cooperation with a public servant, for the purpose of institution of criminal prosecution against the defendant, and that the defendant did not contemplate and would not otherwise have engaged in such conduct.

      (1969, P.A. 828, S. 15.)

      Cited. 173 C. 197; Id., 431. A defendant is entitled to a theory of defense instruction as a matter of law when evidence under this section is before jury. 178 C. 704. Cited. 195 C. 70. Cited. 201 C. 211. Cited. 204 C. 240. Cited. 209 C. 75. Cited. 229 C. 60.

      Cited. 8 CA 158. Cited. 20 CA 395. Cited. 21 CA 326. Cited. 23 CA 392. Cited. 30 CA 470. Cited. 42 CA 751. Cited. 46 CA 486.


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      Sec. 53a-16. Justification as defense. In any prosecution for an offense, justification, as defined in sections 53a-17 to 53a-23, inclusive, shall be a defense.

      (1969, P.A. 828, S. 16.)

      A defendant is entitled to a theory of defense instruction as a matter of law when evidence under this section is before jury. 178 C. 704. Cited. 188 C. 237. Cited. 204 C. 240. Cited. 209 C. 75.

      Cited. 3 CA 289. Cited. 8 CA 667. Cited. 10 CA 643; Id., 697. Cited. 11 CA 665. Cited. 17 CA 200; Id., 326; Id., 602. Cited. 18 CA 303. Cited. 24 CA 195. Cited. 31 CA 58; Id., 140. Cited. 45 CA 390. State did not fail to disprove defense of justification. 75 CA 80.

      Cited. 38 CS 619.


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      Sec. 53a-16a. Affirmative defense in certain situations involving firearms; exceptions. In any prosecution for an offense under section 53a-55a, 53a-56a, 53a-60a, 53a-92a, 53a-94a, 53a-102a or 53a-103a, it shall be an affirmative defense that the pistol, revolver, rifle, shotgun, machine gun or other firearm was not a weapon from which a shot could be discharged, but it shall not be an affirmative defense to any prosecution under section 53a-55, 53a-56, 53a-60, 53a-92, 53a-94, 53a-102 or 53a-103.

      (P.A. 75-380, S. 2; P.A. 81-27, S. 4; P.A. 92-260, S. 1.)

      History: P.A. 81-27 removed references to prosecutions under repealed sections 53a-72, 53a-75 and 53a-78; P.A. 92-260 made technical changes.

      A defendant is entitled to a theory of defense instruction as a matter of law when evidence under this section is before jury. 178 C. 704. Cited. 198 C. 190. Cited. 209 C. 75.

      Cited. 23 CA 615. Cited. 24 CA 195. Cited. 45 CA 390.


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      Sec. 53a-16b. Affirmative defense of coparticipant to offense with firearm. In any prosecution for an offense under section 53a-55a, 53a-56a, 53a-60a, 53a-92a, 53a-94a, 53a-102a or 53a-103a in which the defendant was not the only participant, it shall be an affirmative defense that the defendant: (1) Was not armed with a pistol, revolver, machine gun, shotgun, rifle or other firearm, and (2) had no reasonable ground to believe that any other participant was armed with such a weapon.

      (P.A. 75-380, S. 13; P.A. 92-260, S. 2.)

      History: P.A. 92-260 made technical changes.

      A defendant is entitled to a theory of defense instruction as a matter of law where evidence under this section is before jury. 178 C. 704. Cited. 209 C. 75.

      Cited. 23 CA 615. Cited. 24 CA 195. Cited. 45 CA 390.


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      Sec. 53a-17. Conduct required or authorized by law or judicial decree. Unless inconsistent with any provision of this chapter defining justifiable use of physical force, or with any other provision of law, conduct which would otherwise constitute an offense is justifiable when such conduct is required or authorized by a provision of law or by a judicial decree, including but not limited to (1) laws defining duties and functions of public servants, (2) laws defining duties of private citizens to assist public servants in the performance of certain of their functions, (3) laws governing the execution of legal process, (4) laws governing the military services and the conduct of war, and (5) judgments and orders of courts.

      (1969, P.A. 828, S. 17.)

      A defendant is entitled to a theory of defense instruction as a matter of law when evidence under this section is before jury. 178 C. 704. Cited. 197 C. 588. Cited. 204 C. 240. Cited. 209 C. 75; Id., 322. Evidence that defendant sought to introduce concerning a dispute over tribal leadership and defendant's alleged responsibilities as a tribal official was relevant to defendant's defense of justification under section and, therefore, was improperly excluded. 263 C. 602.

      Cited. 8 CA 667. Cited. 18 CA 303. Cited. 21 CA 138. Cited. 23 CA 615. Cited. 24 CA 195. Cited. 45 CA 390.


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      Sec. 53a-18. Use of reasonable physical force or deadly physical force generally. The use of physical force upon another person which would otherwise constitute an offense is justifiable and not criminal under any of the following circumstances:

      (1) A parent, guardian or other person entrusted with the care and supervision of a minor or an incompetent person, except a person entrusted with the care and supervision of a minor for school purposes as described in subdivision (6) of this section, may use reasonable physical force upon such minor or incompetent person when and to the extent that he reasonably believes such to be necessary to maintain discipline or to promote the welfare of such minor or incompetent person.

      (2) An authorized official of a correctional institution or facility may, in order to maintain order and discipline, use such physical force as is reasonable and authorized by the rules and regulations of the Department of Correction.

      (3) A person responsible for the maintenance of order in a common carrier of passengers, or a person acting under his direction, may use reasonable physical force when and to the extent that he reasonably believes such to be necessary to maintain order, but he may use deadly physical force only when he reasonably believes such to be necessary to prevent death or serious physical injury.

      (4) A person acting under a reasonable belief that another person is about to commit suicide or to inflict serious physical injury upon himself may use reasonable physical force upon such person to the extent that he reasonably believes such to be necessary to thwart such result.

      (5) A duly licensed physician or psychologist, or a person acting under his direction, may use reasonable physical force for the purpose of administering a recognized form of treatment which he reasonably believes to be adapted to promoting the physical or mental health of the patient, provided the treatment (A) is administered with the consent of the patient or, if the patient is a minor or an incompetent person, with the consent of his parent, guardian or other person entrusted with his care and supervision, or (B) is administered in an emergency when the physician or psychologist reasonably believes that no one competent to consent can be consulted and that a reasonable person, wishing to safeguard the welfare of the patient, would consent.

      (6) A teacher or other person entrusted with the care and supervision of a minor for school purposes may use reasonable physical force upon such minor when and to the extent he reasonably believes such to be necessary to (A) protect himself or others from immediate physical injury, (B) obtain possession of a dangerous instrument or controlled substance, as defined in subdivision (9) of section 21a-240, upon or within the control of such minor, (C) protect property from physical damage or (D) restrain such minor or remove such minor to another area, to maintain order.

      (1969, P.A. 828, S. 18; 1971, P.A. 871, S. 4; P.A. 73-205, S. 6; P.A. 89-186, S. 1, 2; P.A. 90-43; P.A. 92-260, S. 3.)

      History: 1971 act specified that force used in Subdivs. (1), (3), (4) and (5) must be "reasonable" physical force; P.A. 73-205 deleted language specifically forbidding use of "deadly physical force" in Subdiv. (1); P.A. 89-186 added new Subdiv. (6) re the use of reasonable physical force by a teacher or other person entrusted with the care and supervision of a minor for school purposes and amended Subdiv. (1) accordingly; P.A. 90-43 applied provisions of Subdiv. (5) to psychologists; P.A. 92-260 amended Subdivs. (1), (3), (4) and (6) to make technical change by replacing "it is necessary" with "such to be necessary".

      A defendant is entitled to a theory of defense instruction as a matter of law when evidence under this section is before jury. 178 C. 704. Cited. 204 C. 240. Cited. 209 C. 75. Cited. 234 C. 455. Cited. 242 C. 211.

      Cited. 8 CA 517; Id., 667. Cited. 23 CA 615. Cited. 24 CA 195. Cited. 45 CA 390.

      Cited. 43 CS 46.

      Subdiv. (1):

      Offense of risk of injury to a child under Sec. 53-21(a)(1) is not logically inconsistent with defense of parental justification. 294 C. 243.

      Cited. 20 CA 75. Examining plain language of risk of injury statute, Sec. 53-21(a)(1), and this Subdiv., providing for the justification defense of reasonable parental discipline, there is no apparent reason to bar application of Subdiv. to a charge under Sec. 53-21(a)(1). 99 CA 713.

      Subdiv. (5):

      Cited. 201 C. 211.


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      Sec. 53a-19. Use of physical force in defense of person. (a) Except as provided in subsections (b) and (c) of this section, a person is justified in using reasonable physical force upon another person to defend himself or a third person from what he reasonably believes to be the use or imminent use of physical force, and he may use such degree of force which he reasonably believes to be necessary for such purpose; except that deadly physical force may not be used unless the actor reasonably believes that such other person is (1) using or about to use deadly physical force, or (2) inflicting or about to inflict great bodily harm.

      (b) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, a person is not justified in using deadly physical force upon another person if he or she knows that he or she can avoid the necessity of using such force with complete safety (1) by retreating, except that the actor shall not be required to retreat if he or she is in his or her dwelling, as defined in section 53a-100, or place of work and was not the initial aggressor, or if he or she is a peace officer, a special policeman appointed under section 29-18b, or a motor vehicle inspector designated under section 14-8 and certified pursuant to section 7-294d, or a private person assisting such peace officer, special policeman or motor vehicle inspector at his or her direction, and acting pursuant to section 53a-22, or (2) by surrendering possession of property to a person asserting a claim of right thereto, or (3) by complying with a demand that he or she abstain from performing an act which he or she is not obliged to perform.

      (c) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, a person is not justified in using physical force when (1) with intent to cause physical injury or death to another person, he provokes the use of physical force by such other person, or (2) he is the initial aggressor, except that his use of physical force upon another person under such circumstances is justifiable if he withdraws from the encounter and effectively communicates to such other person his intent to do so, but such other person notwithstanding continues or threatens the use of physical force, or (3) the physical force involved was the product of a combat by agreement not specifically authorized by law.

      (1969, P.A. 828, S. 19; 1971, P.A. 871, S. 5; P.A. 92-260, S. 4; P.A. 05-180, S. 1; P.A. 06-196, S. 184; P.A. 08-150, S. 49; P.A. 10-36, S. 15.)

      History: 1971 act specified that "reasonable" physical force is justified in Subsec. (a); P.A. 92-260 made technical changes; P.A. 05-180 amended Subsec. (b) to include a special policeman appointed under Sec. 29-18b within the purview of Subdiv. (1) and make technical changes for the purpose of gender neutrality; P.A. 06-196 made a technical change in Subsec. (b)(1), effective June 7, 2006; P.A. 08-150 amended Subsec. (b) to include Department of Motor Vehicles inspector appointed under Sec. 14-8 and certified pursuant to Sec. 7-294d within purview of Subdiv. (1); P.A. 10-36 amended Subsec. (b) to replace "Department of Motor Vehicles inspector appointed" with "motor vehicle inspector designated" and make technical changes, effective July 1, 2010.

      Cited. 166 C. 226. A defendant is entitled to a theory of defense instruction as a matter of law where evidence under this section is before jury. 178 C. 704. Cited. 182 C. 66. Duty of retreat where aggressor is co-occupant of dwelling discussed. 185 C. 372. Cited. 188 C. 237; Id., 653. Cited. 194 C. 376. Cited. 196 C. 519. Cited. 198 C. 454. Cited. 199 C. 383. Cited. 200 C. 743. Cited. 203 C. 466. Cited. 204 C. 240. Cited. 206 C. 621. Cited. 207 C. 191. Cited. 209 C. 34; Id., 75; Id., 322. Determined failure to instruct jury that defense of self-defense was applicable to lesser included offense was harmless error and reversed judgment of appellate court in State v. Hall, 17 CA 502. 213 C. 579. Cited. Id., 593. Cited. 219 C. 295. Cited. 220 C. 602. Cited. 226 C. 917. Cited. 227 C. 518. Cited. 228 C. 335; Id., 851. Cited. 231 C. 484. Cited. 232 C. 537. Cited. 233 C. 1; Id., 517. Cited. 234 C. 381. Cited. 235 C. 274. Cited. 242 C. 211. Subjective-objective test under section applies only to defendant: subjectively, defendant must believe that the use of deadly force is necessary, and objectively, that belief must be reasonable. 264 C. 723.

      Cited. 1 CA 609. Cited. 5 CA 590. Cited. 7 CA 223; Id., 457. Cited. 8 CA 667. Cited. 10 CA 643. Cited. 13 CA 139. Cited. 15 CA 34. Cited. 16 CA 264. Cited. 17 CA 200; Id., 326; Id., 502; judgment reversed, see 213 C. 579. Cited. 19 CA 576; Id., 609. Cited. 20 CA 430. Cited. 23 CA 28; Id., 615. Cited. 24 CA 195; Id., 541; Id., 586; Id., 624. Cited. 25 CA 456. Cited. 27 CA 49. Cited. 28 CA 469; Id., 833; judgment reversed, see 227 C. 518. Cited. 29 CA 262. Cited. 30 CA 95; judgment reversed, see 228 C. 147; Id., 406; judgment reversed, see 228 C. 335. Cited. 31 CA 58; Id., 140. Cited. 32 CA 687. Cited. 33 CA 616; Id., 782. Cited. 34 CA 58; judgment reversed, see 232 C. 537; Id., 368; see also 233 C. 517. Cited. 36 CA 506. Cited. 39 CA 563. Cited. 40 CA 189; Id., 805. Cited. 41 CA 255; Id., 584. Cited. 42 CA 348. Cited. 43 CA 488. Cited. 44 CA 62. Cited. 45 CA 390. Cited. 46 CA 216. Sufficiency of jury instructions re duty to retreat discussed. 48 CA 755. Statute construed to apply to person who also is usually lodged in those premises at night. 54 CA 26. First person to use physical force is not necessarily the initial aggressor. Initial aggressor is the person who acts first in a manner that creates reasonable belief in another person's mind that physical force is about to be used upon that other person. 99 CA 736.

      Cited. 34 CS 612. Use of deadly force not justified when attack by assailants on third person had stopped and assailants were leaving. 35 CS 570. Cited. 38 CS 619. Cited. 43 CS 46.

      Subsec. (a):

      Cited. 186 C. 654. Cited. 187 C. 199. Cited. 225 C. 916. Not only must defendant's belief in the type of threat facing him have been reasonable, but the degree of force used in response must be evaluated for reasonableness as well. 256 C. 193. Under the subjective-objective test, state must disprove beyond a reasonable doubt that defendant subjectively held an objectively reasonable belief that use of deadly force was necessary to defend himself or others. 292 C. 656.

      Cited. 3 CA 289. Cited. 5 CA 338. Cited. 22 CA 521. Cited. 25 CA 456. Cited. 29 CA 754. Cited. 31 CA 385. The subjective-objective inquiry into defendant's belief regarding the necessary degree of force requires jury to make two separate affirmative determinations in order for defendant's claim of self-defense to succeed. 68 CA 19. In the case of self-defense, eyewitness testimony of prior specific acts of violence perpetrated on defendant by his or her victim are admissible to show defendant's state of mind at the time of the killing. Id., 828. State proved beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was not justified in using deadly physical force. 75 CA 80. Where a particular jury instruction, when viewed in isolation, could have been construed as dictating a purely objective standard, it was held that the charge as a whole, adequately instructed jury as to both the subjective and objective aspects of the test involved in a self-defense analysis. Id., 500. Trial court improperly instructed jury on defendant's claim of self-defense by removing from its consideration the disputed factual issue of whether defendant used nondeadly force in self-defense. New trial ordered. 97 CA 679.

      Subsec. (b):

      Cited. 186 C. 654. Cited. 229 C. 916, see also 35 CA 520. Defendant's knowledge of ability to retreat is measured according to the subjective standard of defendant's actual knowledge. Defendant accused of felony murder may not rely on a claim of self-defense. 254 C. 184. Subdiv. (1) allows state to rebut self-defense claim by showing that defendant could have retreated safely before using deadly force; it does not follow that defendant is statutorily or constitutionally entitled to use evidence of retreat after using deadly force to bolster self-defense claim without permitting jury to consider other possible reasons for the flight. 279 C. 414. Unlike the subjective-objective test in Subsec. (a), the duty to retreat under 2003 revision imposes only a subjective requirement that retreat in complete safety be available and that defendant know of it. 292 C. 656.

      Subdiv. (1) cited. 31 CA 385. Cited. 34 CA 610. Cited. 40 CA 624. Cited. 43 CA 488. Cited. 44 CA 62. Retreat exception applies to a dwelling, not to a superior right to being outside the dwelling. 47 CA 91.

      Subsec. (c):

      Subdiv. (2) cited. 221 C. 58. Subdiv. (3) cited. Id. Subdiv. (2): Person who first uses physical force is not necessarily the initial aggressor under this section. Judgment of appellate court in State v. Jimenez, 30 CA 406, reversed. 228 C. 335. There was no occasion for trial court to instruct the jury on initial aggressor doctrine under Subdiv. (2) when the state did not claim that defendant was the initial aggressor. 246 C. 268. Subdiv. (2): Language of Subdiv. is plain and unambiguous and provides that initial aggressor is justified in using physical force only if he withdraws and certain other conditions are satisfied, and Subdiv. does not provide, or suggest, that initial aggressor who uses nondeadly force is justified in using deadly force to repel victim's unlawful escalation of force to the deadly level. 292 C. 734.

      Subdiv. (1): Provocation element carries with it requirement that actor act with specific intent to elicit use of physical force by another. 19 CA 609. Subdiv. (2) cited. Id. Cited. 22 CA 521. Subdiv. (2) cited. 35 CA 699. Jury could have reasonably concluded from evidence presented that defendant was not justified in using deadly force against the victim because he was the initial aggressor. 75 CA 80.

      Cited. 41 CS 525.


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      Sec. 53a-20. Use of physical force in defense of premises. A person in possession or control of premises, or a person who is licensed or privileged to be in or upon such premises, is justified in using reasonable physical force upon another person when and to the extent that he reasonably believes such to be necessary to prevent or terminate the commission or attempted commission of a criminal trespass by such other person in or upon such premises; but he may use deadly physical force under such circumstances only (1) in defense of a person as prescribed in section 53a-19, or (2) when he reasonably believes such to be necessary to prevent an attempt by the trespasser to commit arson or any crime of violence, or (3) to the extent that he reasonably believes such to be necessary to prevent or terminate an unlawful entry by force into his dwelling as defined in section 53a-100, or place of work, and for the sole purpose of such prevention or termination.

      (1969, P.A. 828, S. 20; 1971, P.A. 871, S. 6; P.A. 73-639, S. 2; P.A. 92-260, S. 5.)

      History: 1971 act specified use of "reasonable" physical force; P.A. 73-639 allowed use of deadly physical force when necessary to prevent crime of violence and deleted language allowing use of deadly physical force "not earlier in time" than necessary to prevent or terminate unlawful entry in dwelling or workplace by force; P.A. 92-260 made technical changes by replacing "believes it is necessary" and "believes it necessary" with "believes such to be necessary".

      A defendant is entitled to a theory of defense instruction as a matter of law when evidence under this section is before jury. 178 C. 704. Cited. 199 C. 383. Cited. 203 C. 466,. Cited. 204 C. 240. Cited. 209 C. 75. Cited. 242 C. 211. Defendant's due process right to fair trial was violated when trial court failed to explicitly instruct jury that state bore burden of disproving defendant's defense of premises theory. 294 C. 399.

      Cited. 2 CA 617. Cited. 8 CA 667. Cited. 23 CA 615. Cited. 24 CA 195. Cited. 45 CA 390.

      Common-law right referred to; unnecessary to decide whether Sec. 53a-23 creates an exception. 34 CS 531. Cited. 43 CS 46.


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      Sec. 53a-21. Use of physical force in defense of property. A person is justified in using reasonable physical force upon another person when and to the extent that he reasonably believes such to be necessary to prevent an attempt by such other person to commit larceny or criminal mischief involving property, or when and to the extent he reasonably believes such to be necessary to regain property which he reasonably believes to have been acquired by larceny within a reasonable time prior to the use of such force; but he may use deadly physical force under such circumstances only in defense of person as prescribed in section 53a-19.

      (1969, P.A. 828, S. 21; 1971, P.A. 871, S. 7; P.A. 92-260, S. 6.)

      History: 1971 act specified use of "reasonable" physical force; P.A. 92-260 made technical changes by replacing "believes it necessary" with "believes such to be necessary".

      A defendant is entitled to a theory of defense instruction as a matter of law when evidence under this section is before jury. 178 C. 704. An act injurious to the physical well-being of a child is prohibited; the statute is not unconstitutionally vague. 192 C. 37. Cited. 204 C. 240. Cited. 209 C. 75. Cited. 226 C. 601.

      Cited. 2 CA 617. Cited. 8 CA 667. Cited. 16 CA 455. Cited. 19 CA 445. Cited. 23 CA 615. Cited. 24 CA 195. Cited. 29 CA 283; judgment reversed, see 228 C. 795. Cited. 31 CA 58. Cited. 32 CA 687. Cited. 34 CA 368; see also 233 C. 517. Cited. 45 CA 390. Privilege to enter another's home to retrieve goods does not exist when defendant voluntarily gave his property to the victim. 116 CA 112.

      Cited. 34 CS 612.


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      Sec. 53a-22. Use of physical force in making arrest or preventing escape. (a) For purposes of this section, a reasonable belief that a person has committed an offense means a reasonable belief in facts or circumstances which if true would in law constitute an offense. If the believed facts or circumstances would not in law constitute an offense, an erroneous though not unreasonable belief that the law is otherwise does not render justifiable the use of physical force to make an arrest or to prevent an escape from custody. A peace officer, special policeman appointed under section 29-18b, motor vehicle inspector designated under section 14-8 and certified pursuant to section 7-294d or authorized official of the Department of Correction or the Board of Pardons and Paroles who is effecting an arrest pursuant to a warrant or preventing an escape from custody is justified in using the physical force prescribed in subsections (b) and (c) of this section unless such warrant is invalid and is known by such officer to be invalid.

      (b) Except as provided in subsection (a) of this section, a peace officer, special policeman appointed under section 29-18b, motor vehicle inspector designated under section 14-8 and certified pursuant to section 7-294d or authorized official of the Department of Correction or the Board of Pardons and Paroles is justified in using physical force upon another person when and to the extent that he or she reasonably believes such to be necessary to: (1) Effect an arrest or prevent the escape from custody of a person whom he or she reasonably believes to have committed an offense, unless he or she knows that the arrest or custody is unauthorized; or (2) defend himself or herself or a third person from the use or imminent use of physical force while effecting or attempting to effect an arrest or while preventing or attempting to prevent an escape.

      (c) A peace officer, special policeman appointed under section 29-18b, motor vehicle inspector designated under section 14-8 and certified pursuant to section 7-294d or authorized official of the Department of Correction or the Board of Pardons and Paroles is justified in using deadly physical force upon another person for the purposes specified in subsection (b) of this section only when he or she reasonably believes such to be necessary to: (1) Defend himself or herself or a third person from the use or imminent use of deadly physical force; or (2) effect an arrest or prevent the escape from custody of a person whom he or she reasonably believes has committed or attempted to commit a felony which involved the infliction or threatened infliction of serious physical injury and if, where feasible, he or she has given warning of his or her intent to use deadly physical force.

      (d) Except as provided in subsection (e) of this section, a person who has been directed by a peace officer, special policeman appointed under section 29-18b, motor vehicle inspector designated under section 14-8 and certified pursuant to section 7-294d or authorized official of the Department of Correction or the Board of Pardons and Paroles to assist such peace officer, special policeman, motor vehicle inspector or official to effect an arrest or to prevent an escape from custody is justified in using reasonable physical force when and to the extent that he or she reasonably believes such to be necessary to carry out such peace officer's, special policeman's, motor vehicle inspector's or official's direction.

      (e) A person who has been directed to assist a peace officer, special policeman appointed under section 29-18b, motor vehicle inspector designated under section 14-8 and certified pursuant to section 7-294d or authorized official of the Department of Correction or the Board of Pardons and Paroles under circumstances specified in subsection (d) of this section may use deadly physical force to effect an arrest or to prevent an escape from custody only when: (1) He or she reasonably believes such to be necessary to defend himself or herself or a third person from what he or she reasonably believes to be the use or imminent use of deadly physical force; or (2) he or she is directed or authorized by such peace officer, special policeman, motor vehicle inspector or official to use deadly physical force, unless he or she knows that the peace officer, special policeman, motor vehicle inspector or official himself or herself is not authorized to use deadly physical force under the circumstances.

      (f) A private person acting on his or her own account is justified in using reasonable physical force upon another person when and to the extent that he or she reasonably believes such to be necessary to effect an arrest or to prevent the escape from custody of an arrested person whom he or she reasonably believes to have committed an offense and who in fact has committed such offense; but he or she is not justified in using deadly physical force in such circumstances, except in defense of person as prescribed in section 53a-19.

      (1969, P.A. 828, S. 23; 1971, P.A. 826; 871, S. 8; P.A. 86-231; 86-403, S. 87, 132; P.A. 92-260, S. 7; May Sp. Sess. P.A. 94-6, S. 23, 28; P.A. 04-257, S. 119; P.A. 05-108, S. 6; 05-180, S. 2; P.A. 08-150, S. 50; P.A. 10-36, S. 16.)

      History: 1971 acts applied provisions of Subsecs. (a) to (f) to authorized officials of department of correction and specified authority to use physical force to prevent escape from custody in Subsec. (a) and deleted former Subsec. (g) which had allowed peace officers employed in correctional facilities to use force to prevent a prisoner's escape and specified use of "reasonable" physical force; P.A. 86-231 amended Subsec. (c)(2) to add provision that the felony involve the infliction or threatened infliction of serious physical injury and that the officer or official give a warning if feasible of his intent to use deadly physical force; P.A. 86-403 made technical change in Subsec. (b); P.A. 92-260 made technical changes by replacing "believes it necessary", "believes that such is necessary" and "believes it is necessary" with "believes such to be necessary"; May Sp. Sess. P.A. 94-6 amended Subsecs. (a) to (e), inclusive, to add authorized officials of the Board of Parole, effective July 1, 1994; P.A. 04-257 amended Subsecs. (a) to (e), inclusive, to delete references to an authorized official of the Board of Parole, effective June 14, 2004; P.A. 05-108 amended Subsecs. (a) to (e), inclusive, to restore references to an authorized official of the Board of Pardons and Paroles, effective June 7, 2005; P.A. 05-180 amended Subsecs. (a) to (e), inclusive, to include a special policeman appointed under Sec. 29-18b within the purview of said Subsecs. and made technical changes for the purpose of gender neutrality throughout; P.A. 08-150 amended Subsecs. (a) to (e) to include Department of Motor Vehicles inspector appointed under Sec. 14-8 and certified pursuant to Sec. 7-294d within purview of said Subsecs.; P.A. 10-36 amended Subsecs. (a) to (e) to replace "Department of Motor Vehicles inspector appointed" with "motor vehicle inspector designated" and make technical changes, effective July 1, 2010.

      See Sec. 53a-23 re unjustified use of force to resist arrest.

      A defendant is entitled to a theory of defense instruction as a matter of law when evidence under this section is before jury. 178 C. 704. Cited. 204 C. 240. Cited. 209 C. 75.

      Cited. 8 CA 667. Cited. 23 CA 615. Cited. 24 CA 195. Cited. 45 CA 390.

      Cited. 43 CS 46.

      Subsec. (f):

      Does not require person making the arrest to have been present at the time the felony was committed for defense of citizen's arrest to apply. 63 CA 228.

      Defendant's firing of warning shot at fleeing assailants constituted use of deadly force proscribed by statute. To permit persons to fire warning shots would frustrate purpose of statute to limit use of guns to emergency situations to protect persons from death or great bodily harm. 35 CS 570. Cited. 39 CS 392.


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      Sec. 53a-23. Use of physical force to resist arrest not justified. A person is not justified in using physical force to resist an arrest by a reasonably identifiable peace officer, special policeman appointed under section 29-18b or motor vehicle inspector designated under section 14-8 and certified pursuant to section 7-294d, whether such arrest is legal or illegal.

      (1969, P.A. 828, S. 22; 1971, P.A. 871, S. 9; P.A. 05-180, S. 3; P.A. 08-150, S. 51; P.A. 10-36, S. 17.)

      History: 1971 act deleted definition of peace officer, but see Sec. 53a-3; P.A. 05-180 included a special policeman appointed under Sec. 29-18b within purview of section; P.A. 08-150 included Department of Motor Vehicles inspector appointed under Sec. 14-8 and certified pursuant to Sec. 7-294d within purview of section; P.A. 10-36 replaced "Department of Motor Vehicles inspector appointed" with "motor vehicle inspector designated" and made technical changes, effective July 1, 2010.

      Cited. 170 C. 99. A defendant is entitled to a theory of defense instruction as a matter of law when evidence under this section is before jury. 178 C. 704. Cited. 191 C. 433. Cited. 204 C. 240. Cited. 209 C. 75. Cited. 221 C. 788. Trial court's instructions pertaining to statute virtually eliminated state's burden of proving that the police officers were acting in the performance of their duties and had effect of depriving defendant of a defense to the charges against him, in violation of his due process rights. 261 C. 553.

      Cited. 1 CA 709. Cited. 5 CA 616. Cited. 8 CA 153; Id., 667. Cited. 21 CA 326. Cited. 23 CA 615. Cited. 24 CA 195; Id., 473; judgment reversed in part, see 221 C. 788. Cited. 27 CA 49. Cited. 40 CA 601. Cited. 45 CA 390. Under this section, illegality of an arrest is not a defense to charges under. Sec. 53a-167c. Statute was intended to require an arrestee to submit to an arrest, even though he believes, and may ultimately establish, that the arrest was without probable cause or was otherwise unlawful. It was not intended to require an arrestee to submit to egregiously unlawful conduct-such as an unprovoked assault-by the police in the course of an arrest, whether the arrest was legal or illegal. 79 CA 667.

      Section restricts common-law right to resist illegal arrest; not applicable to prosecution under Sec. 53a-167a; unnecessary to decide whether this section creates exception to Sec. 53a-20 or common-law right to defend premises. 34 CS 531. Cited. 38 CS 364; Id., 400.


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