(1) The use of physical force by a defendant upon another person is justifiable when the defendant believes that such force is necessary to protect himself against the use or imminent use of unlawful physical force by the other person.
(2) The use of deadly physical force by a defendant upon another person is justifiable under subsection (1) only when the defendant believes that such force is necessary to protect himself against death, serious physical injury, kidnapping, sexual intercourse compelled by force or threat, felony involving the use of force, or under those circumstances permitted pursuant to KRS 503.055.

Terms Used In Kentucky Statutes 503.050

  • Deadly physical force: means force which is used with the purpose of causing death or serious physical injury or which the defendant knows to create a substantial risk of causing death or serious physical injury. See Kentucky Statutes 503.010
  • Defendant: In a civil suit, the person complained against; in a criminal case, the person accused of the crime.
  • Domestic: when applied to a corporation, partnership, business trust, or limited liability company, means all those incorporated or formed by authority of this state. See Kentucky Statutes 446.010
  • Evidence: Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case for one side or the other.
  • Felony: A crime carrying a penalty of more than a year in prison.
  • Imminent: means impending danger, and, in the context of domestic violence and abuse as defined by KRS 403. See Kentucky Statutes 503.010
  • Physical force: means force used upon or directed toward the body of another person and includes confinement. See Kentucky Statutes 503.010

(3) Any evidence presented by the defendant to establish the existence of a prior act or acts of domestic violence and abuse as defined in KRS 403.720 by the person against whom the defendant is charged with employing physical force shall be admissible under this section.
(4) A person does not have a duty to retreat prior to the use of deadly physical force.
Effective: July 12, 2006
History: Amended 2006 Ky. Acts ch. 192, sec. 3, effective July 12, 2006. — Amended
1992 Ky. Acts ch. 173, sec. 2, effective July 14, 1992. — Created 1974 Ky. Acts ch.
406, sec. 30, effective January 1, 1975.