Self Defense Laws
Iowa

These are excerpts taken from Iowa Statutes and are up-to-date as of February 09, 2002. Information herein should not be assumed accurate, and if you find yourself needing accurate information about law, you are hereby advised to consult a lawyer. Information herein should be used for informational, and not legal, purposes only.

UNDER CONSTRUCTION

How Hard You Can Hit?

  • 19-202. RESISTANCE BY THREATENED PARTY.
    Resistance sufficient to prevent the offense may be made by the party about to be injured: 1. To prevent an offense against his person, or his family, or some member thereof. 2. To prevent an illegal attempt by force to take or injure property in his lawful possession.
  • 19-202A. LEGAL JEOPARDY IN CASES OF SELF-DEFENSE AND DEFENSE OF OTHER THREATENED PARTIES.
    No person in this state shall be placed in legal jeopardy of any kind whatsoever for protecting himself or his family by reasonable means necessary, or when coming to the aid of another whom he reasonably believes to be in imminent danger of or the victim of aggravated assault, robbery, rape, murder or other heinous crime.
  • 19-203. RESISTANCE BY OTHER PARTIES.
    Any other person, in aid or defense of the person about to be injured, may make resistance sufficient to prevent the offense.
  • (720 ILCS 5/7-1) Sec. 7-1. Use of force in defense of person.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 defend himself or another against such other’s imminent use of unlawful force. However, he is justified in the use of force which is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm only if he reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or another, or the commission of a forcible felony.
  • (720 ILCS 5/7-2) Sec. 7-2. Use of force in defense of dwelling.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 other’s unlawful entry into or attack upon a dwelling. However, he is justified in the use of force which is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm only if:
    (a) The entry is made or attempted in a violent, riotous, or tumultuous manner, and he reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent an assault upon, or offer of personal violence to, him or another then in the dwelling, or
    (b) He reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent the commission of a felony in the dwelling.
  • (720 ILCS 5/7-3) Sec. 7-3. Use of force in defense of other property.
    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 other’s trespass on or other tortious or criminal interference with either real property (other than a dwelling) or personal property, lawfully in his possession or in the possession of another who is a member of his immediate family or household or of a person whose property he has a legal duty to protect. However, he is justified in the use of force which is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm only if he reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.
  • (720 ILCS 5/7-4) Sec. 7-4. Use of force by aggressor.
    The justification described in the preceding Sections of this Article is not available to a person who:
    (a) Is attempting to commit, committing, or escaping after the commission of, a forcible felony; or
    (b) Initially provokes the use of force against himself, with the intent to use such force as an excuse to inflict bodily harm upon the assailant; or
    (c) Otherwise initially provokes the use of force against himself, unless:
    (1) Such force is so great that he reasonably believes that he is in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm, and that he has exhausted every reasonable means to escape such danger other than the use of force which is likely to cause death or great bodily harm to the assailant; or
    (2) In good faith, he withdraws from physical contact with the assailant and indicates clearly to the assailant that he desires to withdraw and terminate the use of force, but the assailant continues or resumes the use of force.
  • (720 ILCS 5/7-8) Sec. 7-8. Force likely to cause death or great bodily harm.
    (a) Force which is likely to cause death or great bodily harm, within the meaning of Sections 7-5 and 7-6 includes:
    (1) The firing of a firearm in the direction of the person to be arrested, even though no intent exists to kill or inflict great bodily harm; and
    (2) The firing of a firearm at a vehicle in which the person to be arrested is riding.
    (b) A peace officer’s discharge of a firearm using ammunition designed to disable or control an individual without creating the likelihood of death or great bodily harm shall not be considered force likely to cause death or great bodily harm within the meaning of Sections 7-5 and 7-6.
  • (720 ILCS 5/7-9) Sec. 7-9. Use of force to prevent escape.
    (a) A peace officer or other person who has an arrested person in his custody is justified in the use of such force to prevent the escape of the arrested person from custody as he would be justified in using if he were arresting such person.
    (b) A guard or other peace officer is justified in the use of force, including force likely to cause death or great bodily harm, which he reasonably believes to be necessary to prevent the escape from a penal institution of a person whom the officer reasonably believes to be lawfully detained in such institution under sentence for an offense or awaiting trial or commitment for an offense.
  • (720 ILCS 5/7-10) Sec. 7-10. Execution of death sentence.
    A public officer who, in the exercise of his official duty, puts a person to death pursuant to a sentence of a court of competent jurisdiction, is justified if he acts in accordance with the sentence pronounced and the law prescribing the procedure for execution of a death sentence.
  • (720 ILCS 5/7-11) Sec. 7-11. Compulsion.
    (a) A person is not guilty of an offense, other than an offense punishable with death, by reason of conduct which he performs under the compulsion of threat or menace of the imminent infliction of death or great bodily harm, if he reasonably believes death or great bodily harm will be inflicted upon him if he does not perform such conduct.
    (b) A married woman is not entitled, by reason of the presence of her husband, to any presumption of compulsion, or to any defense of compulsion except that stated in Subsection (a).
  • (720 ILCS 5/7-13) Sec. 7-13. Necessity.
    Conduct which would otherwise be an offense is justifiable by reason of necessity if the accused was without blame in occasioning or developing the situation and reasonably believed such conduct was necessary to avoid a public or private injury greater than the injury which might reasonably result from his own conduct.