2011 Connecticut Code
Title 53a Penal Code
Chapter 951 Penal Code: Statutory Construction; Principles of Criminal Liability
Sec. 53a-20. Use of physical force in defense of premises.

      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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