Illinois Law on the Use of Deadly Force

Illinois law allows a person to use deadly force ONLY under the following circumstances:


IN DEFENSE OF A PERSON

 

A person 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 5/7-1


OR

IN DEFENSE OF A 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 otherís 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:

 

(1)    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

(2)   He reasonably believes that such force is
necessary to prevent the commission of a felony in the dwelling.  720 ILCS 5/7-2(a)(1) & (2)

 

OR

 

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 5/7-3 

 

"Forcible felony" means treason, first degree murder, second degree murder, predatory criminal sexual assault of a child, aggravated criminal sexual assault, criminal sexual  assault, robbery, burglary, residential burglary, aggravated arson, arson, aggravated kidnaping, kidnaping, aggravated battery resulting in great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement and any other felony which involves the use or threat of physical force or violence against any individual.  720 ILCS 5/2-8