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New York State Self-Defense Law: Penal Code Sec 35.15 2B ? : see "more detail"

Buffalo, NY |

"2. A person may not use deadly physical force upon another person under circumstances specified in subdivision one unless:
(b) He reasonably believes that such other person is committing or attempting to commit a kidnapping, forcible rape, forcible sodomy or robbery;"
Does lethal self-defense with the above crimes absolve the person from the usual requirements of lethal Self-Defense, i.e., that the person reasonably believes his/her life is in imminent danger from a lethal attack? Is the Law saying with these crimes, lethal Self-Defense is automatically allowed? Thank You.

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Attorney answers 5


Self defense is always permitted. The question of how much force ie. physical, deadly physical etc. is what the issue is. Deadly physical force is only permitted in those instances permitted by the statute.


Is this related to a pending case? If this is a question about some future action, you may be seriously undermining your ability to successfully raise a self defense claim. If it's a pending case, your best bet is to discuss the specific facts of your case with a qualified attorney.

All answers are for information purposes only. Answering this question or any future questions does not form any attorney-client relationship. Be mindful, that answers are limited by the limited facts presented by the questioner and are not meant to take the place of competent legal advice by an attorney fully informed of all the facts surrounding your case. However, be aware that nothing posted in a public forum such as this can be deemed confidential or privileged communication. For a privileged private consultation, contact me at 212-385-8600 or via my website



No, it isn't about a current situation or an imagined one. Purpose is to understand the law of the land - which I do except the reason these crimes seem to have a special status and what exactly that is. That's all.


NY law provides a justification defense for the use of deadly force. It applies for use of deadly force to protect self or others

Posted is saying it is allowed when defending another person.
BUT, the police don't distinguish this, the courts do so you will likely be arrested and have to defend yourself.

Joseph A. Lo Piccolo, Esq.
Immediate Past President, Criminal Courts Bar Association 11'-12'
Hession Bekoff & Lo Piccolo
1103 Stewart Ave, Suite 200
Garden City, NY 11530
516-408-3666 (o) / 516-408-3833 (f)

I am a criminal defense attorney practicing in Nassau, Suffolk and New York City. The above information is not a substitution for a meeting whereas all potential legal issues can be discussed.


No, it is not automatically allowed. As other counsel have pointed out the force must be proportionate. Also you will probably be charged and need to defend yourself in court. To do this you will need competent counsel. I can help you.

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