2023 Missouri Revised Statutes
Title XXXVIII - Crimes and Punishment; Peace Officers and Public Defenders
Chapter 563 - Defense of Justification
Section 563.021 - Execution of public duty.

Universal Citation: MO Rev Stat § 563.021 (2023)


Chapter 563

• Effective - 01 Jan 2017, 2 histories, see footnote

563.021. Execution of public duty. — 1. Unless inconsistent with the provisions of this chapter defining the justifiable use of physical force, or with some other provision of law, conduct which would otherwise constitute an offense is justifiable and not criminal when such conduct is required or authorized by a statutory provision or by a judicial decree. Among the kinds of such provisions and decrees are:

(1) Laws defining duties and functions of public servants;

(2) Laws defining duties of private persons to assist public servants in the performance of their functions;

(3) Laws governing the execution of legal process;

(4) Laws governing the military services and the conduct of war;

(5) Judgments and orders of courts.

2. The defense of justification afforded by subsection 1 of this section applies:

(1) When a person reasonably believes his or her conduct to be required or authorized by the judgment or directions of a competent court or tribunal or in the legal execution of legal process, notwithstanding lack of jurisdiction of the court or defect in the legal process;

(2) When a person reasonably believes his or her conduct to be required or authorized to assist a public servant in the performance of his or her duties, notwithstanding that the public servant exceeded his or her legal authority.

3. The defendant shall have the burden of injecting the issue of justification under this section.


(L. 1977 S.B. 60, A.L. 2014 S.B. 491)

Effective 1-01-17

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