Force or Violence

March 23th, 2022

Use of Force or Violence

I have fielded several questions lately about when it is justified to use force or violence to defend yourself. Perhaps this is a commentary on living and working in Shreveport, but this question appears on people’s minds. In Louisiana, the law is reasonably specific about when you are permitted to use force or violence.

The Law:

The law states that using force or violence upon another person is justified when necessary to prevent a forcible offense against you or prevent a trespass against the property in your lawful possession. However, not every level of force is justified. The law specifically requires that you only use a level of force that is reasonable and necessary to protect yourself. The key is the person using the force or violence must reasonably believe that force or violence is necessary to protect themselves or get the other individual to leave.

 What is protected?

​The legal provisions allowing the use of force or violence to defend yourself in Louisiana extend beyond your home. Use can use force to protect yourself if you are in your place of business or in your vehicle.

 Exceptions to this defense

​There is no protection afforded in Louisiana if you use force or violence while you are engaged in certain criminal acts, including possession of, distribution of, or possession with the intent to distribute a controlled dangerous substance in violation of the Louisiana uniform control dangerous substance law. 

  Additionally, if your use of force or violence results in a homicide, there is no automatic protection based on this statute. It is a factor; however, there will still be an investigation. You could be charged with homicide and face the antagonizing reality of having to defend yourself.

Laws continually evolve. When it comes to using force to protect yourself, this is the law as of 2022. If you have questions about what force is allowed, or if you are charged with what someone has deemed excessive force, do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Larrion L. Hillman at


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