Home Active Self Protection The Law on Defending your Home in Illinois

The Law on Defending your Home in Illinois


hi I'm Matt Benson and I'm here to talk about the legal ramifications of home defense in Illinois at least now when I say home defense I actually mean defense inside of the place you live I'm not talking about defending yourself in here at the grocery store I'm not talking about when you're driving in your car I'm not talking about anything other than when you're sitting in the place where you live and there's some sound you hear or something and someone's trying to get in there and you don't want them to that's the sort of scenario I'm talking about nothing beyond that okay we'll save all that other stuff for a different video when you talk about home defense a lot of people bring up things like the castle doctrine or all that we're not gonna buddy the waters with any vague legal theories or anything like that we're just gonna go over what the law in Illinois says and we're gonna go by that because you know when you want to know what the law is rule 1 is read the statute rule 2 is read the statute again and rule 3 is read the statute one more time and see if there's anything you missed and if you read the statute three times there's a pretty good chance to by then you understand what the law actually says so I'm going to start off by doing just that 750 ILCs 5/7 – to talks about use of force and defense of dwelling I'm just going to read the text to you real quickly it's only about three paragraphs and goes like this a person is justified in the use of force against another when and to the extent that he reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to prevent or terminate such others unlawful entry into or attack upon a dwelling however he is justified the use of force which is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm only if one the entry is made or attempted in a violent riotous or tumultuous manner and he reasonably believes that such forces necessary prevent an assault upon or offer a personal violence to him or another than in the dwelling or he reasonably believes that such forces necessarily prevent the commission of a felony in the dwelling B subsection B in no case shall any act involving the use of force justified under this section give rise to any claim or liability brought by or on behalf of any person acting within the definition of aggressor set forth in 7-4 of this article or the estate spouse or other family member of such person against the person over a state of the person using such justified force unless the justified force and most willful and wanton misconduct so that's that's what the statute says let's break it down a little bit the statute sets up two different levels of justified force the first level of justified force is the circumstances in which you're allowed to use non-lethal force if you see someone attempting to make their way into your house and they're not authorized to come in there you are use justified in using non-lethal force to stop them when we talk about laga force we're talking about mace we're talking about stun guns we're talking about anything that you can't reasonably believe is going to end somebody's line it'll ruin their day but it won't ruin their life and if you see someone trying to make their way into their home you can use those things as necessary to stop them from making their way in now when you're talking about lethal force when you're talking about guns when you're talking about knives when you're talking about stuff that won't just ruin somebody's day has the potential to in their life you're talking about a different level of force and the statute reflects that for using the level of force of the guns the nine that sort of thing you've got to have a situation where someone breaks in and you reasonably believe that they are there to hurt you or someone who's in there with you or you reasonably believe that that level of force is necessary to prevent that person from committing a felony now I'm not going to get into the definition of reasonably believes because I think it's relatively self-explanatory but let's let's talk about legitimately believing that you know it's not one of those situations where you know they're totally right at us or something along those lines where you're making something up if that legitimate fear exists and that fear is reasonable then you're justified in using this level of force if you've just got someone coming in and trying to make their way into your home you're justified in using non-lethal force however if you've got someone trying to come in or a riotous or tumultuous manner meaning somebody breaking in and you reasonably believe that they're there to hurt you or commit a felony and by the way burglary is a felony then you've got the authorization at that point to use lethal force you've got the authorization or the justification to use the guns use the knives using the things that potentially are going to put that person on the ground to where they don't get back up now subsection B is important because subsection B establishes a shield against civil liability meaning if you shoot this person in a justified manner they can't sue you unless you've engaged in some kind of willful and wanton misconduct willful and wanton misconduct an example of that if you see them right into your home and you happen to shoot them and you drop them to the ground where they're not a threat to you anymore that's fine but when they stop being a threat the force has to stop you can't walk up above them then and put one of their hand in things not acceptable one it's murder and number two it's willful and one is conduct so what I'm saying is willful and wanton misconduct the way you avoid that is you only do what is necessary absolutely necessary to stop them from engaging in the behavior that caused you to need to defend yourself to begin with hurting people taking your stuff whatever that happens to be in that scenario you don't do any more than what you have to do so what are we going to take away from this number one not lethal force is authorized to prevent unauthorized entry into your home to lethal force is authorized in those scenarios where someone breaks in and you reasonably believe that they're there to harm you or someone living with you or you believe reasonably believe that that force is necessary to stop the commission of a felony 3 this statute does present a shield to civil liability by the person who was the aggressor in this scenario in short the aggressor basically means the bad guy for lock your doors and I know that I'm mentioning that now and it's kind of late and everything but when I say lock your doors the reason I say that is you're better protected if someone's breaking in so make it so they have to break in have your doors locked with deadbolt have your windows shut make it so that if the person is going to make your way in there into your home they have to want to to the extent where they have to break stuff to get in you're better legally protected if that's the scenario I'm Matthew Benson we've been talking about home defense in your home this is good a summary of the statute as I'm capable of putting together right now now let's just power hopefully you're a little bit more powerful than you were before this video started thanks a lot you


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