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Can I use deadly force?

Seattle, WA |

if phoenix jones runs up on me trying to intervene what he perceives to be illegal activity and I resist and he pulls out his taser on me, can I shoot him?

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Attorney answers 2


No. The use of deadly force is only permissible if you are in fear of “great personal injury,” which means you have to have reasonable grounds to fear imminent danger of death or great bodily harm given your knowledge and the circumstances at the time of the assault. Since a taser can't kill you, it is not justified.


Arthur D. Leritz

Legal Disclaimer: Mr. Leritz is licensed to practice law in the State of Washinton. The response herein does not constitute legal advice nor does it seek to establish an attorney/client relationship, but rather offers educational insight only. Please feel free to visit Mr. Leritz's website for additional information:



So that means that if a police officer runs up on me and I pull out a taser he cant shoot me?



Also, how would I know what a person intends to do to me once he incapacitates me with some object such as a taser?


As a general rule the force used in self defense must be equal to the force threatened against you. A gun is an escalation of the violence in the situation - a taser is not deadly force - and therefore you would likely not have a valid defense.

Please understand that answering this doesn’t create an attorney/client relationship between us, and as hard as I try to answer your question well, it isn’t legal advice. No matter how much information you put into a question, the answers you are going to get are still going to be vague. It is in your interest to contact a lawyer, most of whom will do a free consultation. Even 15 minutes with a lawyer is going to produce a more specific answer to your problem.

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