Montana Criminal Jury Instructions (M.C.J.I.) 2009 (2017 Supp.)

Chapter 3. Justifiable Use of Force

MT 3-110. Issues–Justifiable Use of Force as a Defense

The Defendant has offered evidence of justifiable use of force in this case. You are to consider the following requirements of the law in determining whether the use of force claimed by Defendant was justified:

[1] The danger of harm to the Defendant must be a present one [and not threatened at a future time] [and not made by a person without the present ability to carry out the threat.];

[2] The force threatened against the Defendant must be unlawful;

[3] The Defendant must actually believe that the danger exists, that is, use of force is necessary to avert the danger and that the kind and amount of force which defendant uses is necessary;

[4] The Defendant’s belief, in each of the aspects described, must be reasonable even if it is mistaken.

[5] A person who is lawfully in a place or location and who is threatened with bodily injury or loss of life has no duty to retreat from a threat, or summon law enforcement assistance prior to using force.

Even if you determine the use of force by Defendant was not justified, the state still has the duty to prove each of the elements of the crime charged beyond a reasonable doubt.