Sec. 3. (a) A person other than a law enforcement officer is justified in using reasonable force against another person to effect an arrest or prevent the other person’s escape if:

(1) a felony has been committed; and

Terms Used In Indiana Code 35-41-3-3

  • Arrest: Taking physical custody of a person by lawful authority.
  • Defendant: In a civil suit, the person complained against; in a criminal case, the person accused of the crime.
  • Felony: A crime carrying a penalty of more than a year in prison.
  • Probable cause: A reasonable ground for belief that the offender violated a specific law.
(2) there is probable cause to believe the other person committed that felony.

However, such a person is not justified in using deadly force unless that force is justified under section 2 of this chapter.

     (b) A law enforcement officer is justified in using reasonable force if the officer reasonably believes that the force is necessary to effect a lawful arrest. However, an officer is justified in using deadly force only if the officer:

(1) has probable cause to believe that that deadly force is necessary:

(A) to prevent the commission of a forcible felony; or

(B) to effect an arrest of a person who the officer has probable cause to believe poses a threat of serious bodily injury to the officer or a third person; and

(2) has given a warning, if feasible, to the person against whom the deadly force is to be used.

     (c) A law enforcement officer making an arrest under an invalid warrant is justified in using force as if the warrant was valid, unless the officer knows that the warrant is invalid.

     (d) A law enforcement officer who has an arrested person in custody is justified in using the same force to prevent the escape of the arrested person from custody that the officer would be justified in using if the officer was arresting that person. However, an officer is justified in using deadly force only if the officer:

(1) has probable cause to believe that deadly force is necessary to prevent the escape from custody of a person who the officer has probable cause to believe poses a threat of serious bodily injury to the officer or a third person; and

(2) has given a warning, if feasible, to the person against whom the deadly force is to be used.

     (e) A guard or other official in a penal facility or a law enforcement officer is justified in using reasonable force, including deadly force, if the officer has probable cause to believe that the force is necessary to prevent the escape of a person who is detained in the penal facility.

     (f) Notwithstanding subsection (b), (d), or (e), a law enforcement officer who is a defendant in a criminal prosecution has the same right as a person who is not a law enforcement officer to assert self-defense under IC 35-41-3-2.

As added by Acts 1976, P.L.148, SEC.1. Amended by Acts 1977, P.L.340, SEC.9; Acts 1979, P.L.297, SEC.2; P.L.245-1993, SEC.1.