senate Bill S1671

2009-2010 Legislative Session

Justifies the use of physical force on grounds surrounding a dwelling

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Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee

  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor

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view actions (2)
Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jan 06, 2010 referred to codes
Feb 04, 2009 referred to codes

S1671 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
Current Committee:
Law Section:
Penal Law

S1671 - Bill Texts

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An act to amend the penal law, in relation to justification for the
use of physical force

This bill amends §35.15 of the Penal Law, authorizing the use of
deadly physical force on the surrounding grounds of one's residence.

The Penal Law strictly limits those instances which justify the use of
physical force by non-police personnel. In short, §35.15 of the Penal
Law requires an individual faced with deadly physical assault to
retreat,if a safe retreat exists. A crime victim is permitted to stand
his ground against an assault only if in his own dwelling and he is
not the initial aggressor. A crime victim must make the split-second
decision if a safe retreat does or does not exist. Clearly, present
statute does not favor the crime victim.

Prior to the recodification of the Penal Law (1967), a crime victim
had an absolute right to self-defense. "To avoid the felonious
aggression against his person a crime victim was justified in
standing his ground and, if necessary, destroying the person making
the felonious assault. People V. Liquori. 284 NY 309,317 (1940).

The amended version includes common areas of condominiums and
co-operative apartment buildings.


1995-96: Assembly Codes Cmte.
1997-98: Assembly Codes Cmte.
1999-00: Assembly Codes Cmte.
2001-02: Assembly Codes Cmte.
2003-04: Senate Codes Cmte.
2005-06: Senate Codes Cmte.

This act shall take effect on the first of November next succeeding
the date on which it shall have become a law.
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