A Minneapolis Criminal Defense Attorney Knows When Use of Force is Lawful

A Minneapolis criminal defense attorney well understands state statutes as they relate to “authorized” and “unauthorized” use of force. A person may lawfully use “reasonable force” towards another–“without the other’s consent”–in the following situations, or if the actor (person using force) truly believes the following situations exist.:

1) You are a “public officer”(police officer), or you are helping a public officer while that officer tells you what to do, and even then, you–the officer–or you, the helper, must be engaged in at least one of the following activities:

  • making a “lawful arrest,”
  • carrying out a “legal process,” such as serving a warrant,
  • “enforcing an order of the Court,” such as making an arrest, or transferring a prisoner, and/or
  • performing “any other duty,” which is a usual duty of a public officer, and is prescribed by law.

2) You are not a public officer, but merely a private citizen who feels he/she must employ “reasonable force” against another. You may do so lawfully in any of the following circumstances.:

  • when arresting another person “in the cases and in the manner provided by law” with the intent of “delivering the other” to any officer who, by law, is able to “receive him/her into custody,”
  • when another is suffering “an offense against his/her person,” and you wish to help this sufferer “resist” the offense,
  • when you are suffering “an offense against your person,” and you attempt to fend off this imposition,
  • when yours–or another’s–lawfully-owned property is being “interfered with,” such as through “trespass,” and you wish to “resist,”
  • when a person who has been “lawfully held on a charge or conviction of a crime” tries to escape–or has escaped–and you wish to stop the escape, or capture the escaped,
  • when you are in a position of “lawful authority”–such as a “parent, guardian or teacher”–over a child/pupil, and you wish to “restrain or correct” this charge,
  • when you are operating–or managing–a “common carrier” (i.e., bus or motor coach)and you find it necessary to “expel a passenger” whose conduct may, according to legal standards, harm other passengers–as long as you expel this passenger with “reasonable care” for his/her safety,
  • when you are attempting to “restrain a person with mental illness or with a developmental disability” in order that this person does no harm to self or others,
  • when you are an employee providing “custody or treatment against one lawfully committed…to a public or private institution” and you find it necessary to “compel compliance with reasonable (conduct) requirements” of that institution.

The situations described directly above are–by no means–the only circumstances in which a private citizen may use “reasonable force” against another.  Therefore, please contact us if you have been accused–or charged–with the “unauthorized” use of force. We know all the possible defenses that may be used to aid you.