Illinois self defence with a gun laws?


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XxWINxX94
July 11, 2009, 01:38 PM
I recently had an arguement with my father about having a couple guns in the house for self defence purposes. If somebody breaks in looking to do harm to you, or a family member, or decides hes going to rob you, whats legal? If the guy is carrying a gun, you aren't going to stand there and call the police, you are gonna want to grab that under-the-pillow 38. If I live in Illinois, and this happens, do I get in huge trouble if I shoot the guy? Do I have to spend $1000's getting a lawyer to prove I didn't just kill him? My father says it would get the family in too much legal and trouble, but I disagree. Does anybody know what the deal is in Illinois? I would really like to have some kind of documentation on the right to self defence with a gun in Illinois. I've looked on google a little, but it doesn't mention firearms.

Anybody have any links for the details on Illinois self defence with a gun?
(By the way, I'm not talking about Chicago, I know the situation there)

Thanks.

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2TransAms
July 11, 2009, 01:52 PM
Do I have to spend $1000's getting a lawyer to prove I didn't just kill him?
Probably have to do that no matter what.

TexasRifleman
July 11, 2009, 02:05 PM
Illinois law says:

(720 ILCS 5/7‑2) (from Ch. 38, par. 7‑2)
Sec. 7‑2. Use of force in defense of dwelling.
(a) 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 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.
(b) In no case shall any act involving the use of force justified under this Section give rise to any claim or liability brought by or on behalf of any person acting within the definition of "aggressor" set forth in Section 7‑4 of this Article, or the estate, spouse, or other family member of such a person, against the person or estate of the person using such justified force, unless the use of force involves willful or wanton misconduct.

So, the use of deadly force inside your home seems legal in Illinois under those conditions.

Now, that said, pretty much anytime you use deadly force you are subject to arrest, even in clear cut cases. Whether or not you will be arrested really changes state to state and even town to town depending on how local LE and prosecutors deal with that kind of thing.

In the end your father is probably right in that you may need a lawyer even if you're 100% justified.

But, that's the cost of protecting your or your families life. Your father is worried about getting the family in legal trouble. Is he worried about the family getting dead? Seems like a lawyer fee would be much cheaper than a funeral.

illinois law seems to, from my reading of it, protect you from getting sued by the bad guy or his family so that's good.

Not a lawyer, not legal advice.

wep45
July 11, 2009, 03:30 PM
you live in your father's house and you need to respect HIS wishes.

is the community you live in that unstable?? your wants and reality may be different.

contact the attorney general to get the real info on this matter.

in the mean time read this ............http://www.nononsenseselfdefense.com/homedefense.html

isp2605
July 11, 2009, 06:05 PM
Texasrifleman posted the applicable statute regarding defense of a dwelling. Read the entire Article 7 to see the justified use of deadly force in IL. Note the difference between "use of force" and "use of deadly force" or "use of force likely to cause death or great bodily harm".
http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=072000050HArt%2E+7&ActID=1876&ChapAct=720%26nbsp%3BILCS%26nbsp%3B5%2F&ChapterID=53&ChapterName=CRIMINAL+OFFENSES&SectionID=60595&SeqStart=7800000&SeqEnd=9300000&ActName=Criminal+Code+of+1961%2E

IL is not really different than most states concerning use of deadly force. However, as your father told you, and it really doesn't matter which state, expect any use of deadly force to be a costly venture. Civil suits can be expected. Laws do not prevent a person from being sued. Anyone can sue anyone else for anything. What the statutes do is make it an affirmative defense when being sued. So what that means is the other party can still sue you but you will have to go to court to prove that your actions fit the definition of the affirmative defense. You're going to need at attorney for those cases and they won't be cheap. Even if you're clearly 100% in the right you'll still have to pay your attorney. Expect that to be at a minimum in the 10s of thousands of dollars.

Deanimator
July 11, 2009, 10:39 PM
Even if you're clearly 100% in the right you'll still have to pay your attorney. Expect that to be at a minimum in the 10s of thousands of dollars.
I'll bet full time care for the rest of your life if your assailant leaves you a quadriplegic or brain damaged is a lot more.

isp2605
July 11, 2009, 10:46 PM
I'll bet full time care for the rest of your life if your assailant leaves you a quadriplegic or brain damaged is a lot more.
And I'll bet your scenario is pretty remote chance. You have a lot better chance of getting sued. That's pretty much a sure thing.
It's like anything in self defense. One has to look at the odds of what may happen and plan for that occurrence. Self defense also includes planning for what is likely to occur and planning on getting sued should be in your self defense plans.
Or you can come up with a whole world of "what ifs" if you have an active imagination.

Deanimator
July 12, 2009, 10:00 AM
And I'll bet your scenario is pretty remote chance. You have a lot better chance of getting sued. That's pretty much a sure thing.
I've got pretty much NO chance of getting sued for defending myself in my home or car here in Ohio.

But then, I'd rather get sued than be a helpless cripple.

Kindrox
July 12, 2009, 11:51 AM
Research burial costs. I always see the ad claiming the average funeral costs over $5k.
Next time the discussion comes up ask which fee he’d rather be involved in.

Death is no bargain. It sounds like your dad has is priorities way out of line.

mgkdrgn
July 12, 2009, 04:40 PM
You -will- need the services of a lawyer.

However, I see that in -all- cases preferable to needing the services of an undertaker for you or a member of your family.

Jeff White
July 13, 2009, 01:43 AM
I've got pretty much NO chance of getting sued for defending myself in my home or car here in Ohio.

I'm going to post what isp2605 said a couple posts back again:

originally posted by isp2605:

Laws do not prevent a person from being sued. Anyone can sue anyone else for anything. What the statutes do is make it an affirmative defense when being sued.

Please read it again. No castle doctrine law anywhere in the US actually gives you any immunity for being sued. If you defend yourself in your home or car and your assailant or the assailant's family files suit, the Clerk of the Court is not going to say; "Get out of here, the law says you can't sue for that!" The Clerk is going to accept the paperwork and the filing fee and put it on the docket. When the process server serves you with the subpoena, you can't make him go away by telling him; "The Castle Doctrine Law says I can't be sued for this, take the papers back to the courthouse."

You will have to accept service, hire an attorney who will then cite the immunity portion of the castle doctrine law in a motion to dismiss the suit. If the plaintiff's attorney can convince the judge that your actions were so outrageous that they shouldn't be protected by the immunity clause, the judge may allow the suit to proceed. As an example, the New York City lawsuit against all those gun dealers in the South was permitted to go forward because New York found a sympathetic judge who permitted the suit to continue in spite of the immunity provided in The Lawful Commerce in Firearms Act.

You can easily spend several thousand dollars getting the suit dismissed.

isp2605
July 13, 2009, 07:27 AM
I've got pretty much NO chance of getting sued for defending myself in my home or car here in Ohio.
You better, need, to talk to an attorney. You most certainly can be sued in OH and every other state, including OH. You just don't understand you state statute. You read the castle doctrine as thinking that prevents you from being sued. It doesn't. Your state statute does not prevent you from being sued. Your state statute may be like IL's where you can show the person suing from collecting but that does not mean you can't be sued. To prove the person doesn't have a case against you means you have to go to court and prove your side. That's going to cost you for an attorney to represent you. If you think you're going to civil court without an attorney then it's REALLY going to cost you in the end.

Deanimator
July 13, 2009, 09:10 AM
You better, need, to talk to an attorney.
Home invaders, they usually have a lot of money for lawsuits, right?

Lawyers, they take a lot of cases they can't win on contingency from indigent clients, right? They'll just jump at a loser case where even if they won, what they could collect wouldn't approach their legal fees, right?

Yeah, thanks for playing.

TexasRifleman
July 13, 2009, 09:14 AM
Please read it again. No castle doctrine law anywhere in the US actually gives you any immunity for being sued. If you defend yourself in your home or car and your assailant or the assailant's family files suit, the Clerk of the Court is not going to say; "Get out of here, the law says you can't sue for that!" The Clerk is going to accept the paperwork and the filing fee and put it on the docket. When the process server serves you with the subpoena, you can't make him go away by telling him; "The Castle Doctrine Law says I can't be sued for this, take the papers back to the courthouse."

This is all absolutely true.

Did I read that Illinois has a law similar to Florida that if the plaintiff were to lose the lawyers themselves become responsible for reimbursement of court costs?

Can't remember which states have that, but that cuts down tremendously on the lawsuits with no merit. The ambulance chasers won't touch something like that.

flying_gage
July 13, 2009, 04:02 PM
This is my point of view. The defense of mine and my own is literally priceless. If in that defense, I lose my freedom or have to bear a financial burden is outside of my care. Neither is too great a cost for me individually. If you are living inside your father's house, (or anyone else's for that matter) you should abide by his rules.

ilbob
July 13, 2009, 05:53 PM
Civil immunity gets rid of most of the incentive for the bottom feeders to sue you because it makes it much harder for them to win. It does not keep them from suing you. It does present a formidable hurdle for the bottom feeders to get past. It still may cost you a chunk of change for you to get a lawyer to deal with it.

Did I read that Illinois has a law similar to Florida that if the plaintiff were to lose the lawyers themselves become responsible for reimbursement of court costs?

Can't remember which states have that, but that cuts down tremendously on the lawsuits with no merit. The ambulance chasers won't touch something like that.
I am sort of a fan of loser pays, but not completely convinced. I didn't know any states had loser pays laws.

TexasRifleman
July 13, 2009, 06:19 PM
I am sort of a fan of loser pays, but not completely convinced. I didn't know any states had loser pays laws.

Yeah I didn't know how common it was.

Florida does at least, in their recent "Castle Doctrine". I like how they make the lawyers liable as well, shuts down the ambulance chasers:

(4) The court shall award attorney's fees, court

costs, compensation for loss of income, and all expenses

incurred by the defendant in defense of any civil action

brought by a plaintiff if the court finds that the defendant

is immune from prosecution as provided in subsection (1). The

plaintiff and the plaintiff's attorney are jointly and

severally liable to the defendant for the payment of fees and

costs.

damien
July 13, 2009, 06:24 PM
The plaintiff and the plaintiff's attorney are jointly and severally liable to the defendant for the payment of fees and costs.

That's as tough of a castle doctrine law as I have seen. That should cut down on frivolous filings if courts go ahead and award those costs.

Civil immunity gets rid of most of the incentive for the bottom feeders to sue you because it makes it much harder for them to win. It does not keep them from suing you. It does present a formidable hurdle for the bottom feeders to get past. It still may cost you a chunk of change for you to get a lawyer to deal with it.

Not in Florida, I guess. Not if they want to avoid having to open up their personal wallets.

isp2605
July 13, 2009, 11:45 PM
Home invaders, they usually have a lot of money for lawsuits, right?

Lawyers, they take a lot of cases they can't win on contingency from indigent clients, right? They'll just jump at a loser case where even if they won, what they could collect wouldn't approach their legal fees, right?

Yeah, thanks for playing.
It's obvious you have no first hand knowledge of how civil cases proceed.
The don't need a lot of money for attorneys. There are a ton of attorneys willing to take cases pro bono or work contingency. What attorneys know, and obviously you don't, is all they have to do is get your side to settle out of court which is how most cases are handled. You may have homeowners insurance which will gladly write a check for $10K even tho they know they have a winning case because it costs them more to defend you than it does to write them a check to go away.
If you also had any passing knowledge of the procedure then you would know that the person suing you doesn't have to have an attorney to file a suit. For $25 filing fee a person can sue anyone for anything.
If you don't think attorneys will take such cases they you are more than a bit naive of what goes on. BTDT and worn out the tshirts.
Thanks for playing? You don't even know the game being played

Deanimator
July 14, 2009, 09:03 AM
It's obvious you have no first hand knowledge of how civil cases proceed.
Apparently neither does my attorney, who found your comments quite amusing.

isp2605
July 14, 2009, 09:41 AM
Apparently neither does my attorney, who found your comments quite amusing.
You have pegged my BS meter if you expect me to believe that. If so, then you need a new attorney since your attorney obviously knows as little about IL law as you do. I suggest you contact a real attorney and not one generated in your imagination. While your attorney (?) doesn't know what he's talking about, same as you, I have BTDT and have seen it many times up close and personal. I've testified in those cases and consulted with attorneys who were preparing those cases. Your attorney (?) should stick with handling wills and divorces because civil cases isn't his forte.

Deanimator
July 14, 2009, 10:37 AM
If so, then you need a new attorney since your attorney obviously knows as little about IL law as you do.
Hmmm, I guess you missed my SPECIFIC reference to living in OHIO.

I live in OHIO.

I don't need to worry about Illinois "self-defense" law, since I couldn't defend myself with a firearm there in the first place. Any time or any place I'd really NEED a handgun there, I couldn't HAVE one, certainly not in any condition in which it would be of any use.

Art Eatman
July 14, 2009, 12:05 PM
Had some good answers, and then folks started getting personal.

Usual result...

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