senate Bill S7915

2019-2020 Legislative Session

Relates to the justified use of physical force

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Sponsored By

Archive: Last Bill Status - In Senate Committee Codes Committee

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

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view actions (1)
Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Mar 02, 2020 referred to codes


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S7915 (ACTIVE) - Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
Current Committee:
Senate Codes
Law Section:
Penal Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §§35.15, 35.05, 35.10 & 120.14, Pen L; amd §§140.10 & 180.10, CP L; amd R3211, add §3012-c, CPLR
Versions Introduced in 2021-2022 Legislative Session:
S3718, S8026, A5269

S7915 (ACTIVE) - Summary

Relates to the justified use of physical force; removes requirement that a person facing an imminent physical threat must retreat; provides immunity from civil and criminal liability.

S7915 (ACTIVE) - Sponsor Memo

S7915 (ACTIVE) - Bill Text download pdf

                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K


                            I N  S E N A T E

                              March 2, 2020

Introduced  by  Sens.  ORTT,  JORDAN, BORRELLO, FLANAGAN, SEWARD -- read
  twice and ordered printed, and when printed to  be  committed  to  the
  Committee on Codes

AN  ACT to amend the penal law, the criminal procedure law and the civil
  practice law and rules, in relation to the justified use  of  physical


  Section 1. Section 35.15 of the penal law, as added by chapter  73  of
the  laws of 1968, subdivisions 1 and 2 as amended by chapter 511 of the
laws of 2004, is amended to read as follows:
§ 35.15 Justification; use of physical force in defense of a person.
  1. A person may, subject to the provisions of subdivision two OF  THIS
SECTION,  use  physical force upon another person when and to the extent
he or she reasonably believes such to be necessary  to  defend  himself,
herself  or a third person from what he or she reasonably believes to be
the use or imminent use of unlawful physical force by such other person,
  (a) The latter's conduct was provoked by  the  actor  with  intent  to
cause physical injury to another person; or
  (b)  The actor was the initial aggressor; except that in such case the
use of physical force is nevertheless justifiable if the actor has with-
drawn from the encounter and effectively communicated such withdrawal to
such other person but the latter persists in continuing the incident  by
the use or threatened imminent use of unlawful physical force; or
  (c)  The  physical force involved is the product of a combat by agree-
ment not specifically authorized by law.
  2. A person may not use deadly  physical  force  upon  another  person
under circumstances specified in subdivision one OF THIS SECTION unless:
  (a)  The  actor reasonably believes that such other person is using or
about to use deadly physical force. [Even in  such  case,  however,  the
actor  may  not  use  deadly physical force if he or she knows that with
complete personal safety, to oneself and others he or she may avoid  the

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.


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