Sometimes you don’t go looking for bad things; they come looking for you. When those bad things come looking for you while you’re minding your own business, you don’t have to be a victim of violence, and you don’t have to flee. In Louisiana, not all homicide is unjustifiable. In some instances, if you kill someone in self-defense, that is known as a justifiable homicide. To learn specifics, contact a Louisiana criminal defense attorney.
A Homicide is Typically Considered Justifiable in Four (4) Situations
Louisiana law, La. R.S. 14:20, states that a homicide is justifiable if:
1. You reasonably believe that you are in imminent danger of suffering considerable bodily harm or of being killed and that killing is necessary to save yourself from that danger.
2. You reasonably believe that a violent or forcible felony involving danger to life or great bodily harm is about to be committed by someone, and killing that person is necessary to prevent that person from committing the offense. However, the situation must sufficiently illicit a strong fear such that any reasonable person would believe that a serious danger to his or her own life or person would exist if he or she attempted to prevent the felony without the killing.
3. It is committed against a person:
a. who is committing or attempting to commit a burglary or robbery of a dwelling or business,
b. who you reasonably believe is likely to use any unlawful force against someone present in a dwelling or a place of business, or
c. when it is committed against a person who is committing or trying to commit a burglary or robbery of a motor vehicle,
d. who you reasonably believe is attempting to use any unlawful force against a person present in a motor vehicle.
4. A person commits it:
a. lawfully inside a dwelling, a place of business, or a motor vehicle when the conflict began,
b. against someone who has made, or is attempting to make, an unlawful entry into the dwelling, place of business, or motor vehicle, and
c. the person committing the homicide legitimately believes that they have to use deadly force to prevent the entry or to compel the intruder to leave the dwelling, place of business, or motor vehicle.
d. Notably, please be advised that this rule does not apply if, at the time of the killing, you were buying drugs, selling drugs, or in possession of drugs with the intent to distribute them.
Stand Your Ground
In Louisiana, it is essential to note that if you are not engaged in an unlawful activity and you are in a place where you have the right to be, you have no duty to retreat before using deadly force, as indicated above. The fact that you could have possibly retreated before using deadly force cannot be used against you to determine whether the deadly force was reasonable and necessary.
Call a Louisiana Criminal Defense Attorney Today
We have defended individuals in homicide cases. We know your rights and fight for your right to stand your ground. We are experienced Shreveport, LA criminal defense attorneys and our firm has represented individuals in criminal cases throughout the state of Louisiana for years. If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime although you were merely standing your ground, contact us online and fill out our form to set up a consultation to discuss your defense.