2011 Connecticut Code
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:
Title 53a Penal Code
Chapter 951 Penal Code: Statutory Construction; Principles of Criminal Liability
Sec. 53a-18. Use of reasonable physical force or deadly physical force generally.
(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.
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.
Cited. 201 C. 211.
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