LA § 6:15 Defense of property—Other than homicide cases

LA § 6:15 Defense of property—Other than homicide cases

State: Louisiana

Louisiana Criminal Jury Instructions (2017)
§ 6:15 Defense of property—Other than homicide cases

The use of force or violence upon the person of another is justifiable when committed for the purpose of preventing a forcible offense or trespass against property in a person’s lawful possession, if the force or violence used is reasonable and apparently necessary to prevent the offense or trespass.

[A person who is not engaged in any unlawful activity and is in a place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat before using force or violence for the purpose of preventing a forcible offense or trespass against property in his or her lawful possession. In such circumstances, a person may stand his or her ground and meet force with force. The possibility of retreat shall not be considered as a factor in determining whether or not the use of force or violence was reasonable and apparently necessary to prevent the forcible offense or trespass against the property.]

Thus, if you find:

(1) the defendant committed the offense charged for the purpose of preventing a forcible offense or trespass against property; and

(2) that the property was in the [defendant’s] lawful possession [of another]; and

(3) that the force or violence used by the defendant was apparently necessary to prevent the forcible offense or trespass against the property; and

(4) that the defendant used reasonable force or violence to prevent the forcible offense or trespass; then you must find the defendant not guilty.

The authors recommend that the jury be instructed that the burden of proof remains on the state and that if the defense is raised, the state must prove that the defendant’s actions were not justified.

In cases involving the use of force or violence by persons “lawfully inside a dwelling, place of business, or motor vehicle,” the trial court should modify the instruction as follows:

I. If you find that

(1) the defendant was lawfully inside a [dwelling][place of business][motor vehicle] and

(2) the person against whom the force or violence was used was in the process of unlawfully and forcibly entering or had unlawfully and forcibly entered the [dwelling][place of business][motor vehicle] and
(3) the defendant knew or had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry was occurring or had occurred,

you should [must] presume that the defendant held a reasonable belief that the use of force or violence was necessary to prevent unlawful entry thereto [or compel the intruder to leave the [premises]][motor vehicle].]

II. If you find that the defendant was not engaged in unlawful activity and was in a place where he [she] had a right to be, the defendant had not duty to retreat before using force or violence and had the right to stand his [her] ground and meet force with force.

III. If you find that the defendant used force or violence in defense of his [her] person or property, you shall not consider the possibility of retreat as a factor in determining whether or not the defendant had a reasonable belief that such force or violence was reasonably and apparently necessary to prevent the forcible offense or prevent the unlawful entry.

Updated: 7/12/2017

By | 2017-07-12T18:07:40+00:00 August 25th, 2015|Comments Off on LA § 6:15 Defense of property—Other than homicide cases