N.J.S.A. 2C:3-9 – Mistake of Law as to Unlawfulness of Force or Legality of Arrest; etc.

2C:3-9 Mistake of Law as to Unlawfulness of Force or Legality of Arrest; Reckless or Negligent Use of Excessive but Otherwise Justifiable Force; Reckless or Negligent Injury or Risk of Injury to Innocent Persons

a. The justification afforded by sections 2C:3-4 to 2C:3-7 is unavailable when:

(1) The actor’s belief in the unlawfulness of the force or conduct against which he employs protective force or his belief in the lawfulness of an arrest which he endeavors to effect by force is erroneous; and

(2) His error is due to ignorance or mistake as to the provisions of the code, any other provisions of the criminal law or the law governing the legality of an arrest or search.

b. (Deleted by amendment; P.L.1981, c. 290.)

c. When the actor is justified under sections 2C:3-3 to 2C:3-8 in using force upon or toward the person of another but he recklessly or negligently injures or creates a risk of injury to innocent persons, the justification afforded by those sections is unavailable in a prosecution for such recklessness or negligence towards innocent persons.

L.1978, c. 95, s. 2C:3-9, eff. Sept. 1, 1979. Amended by L.1981, c. 290, s. 6, eff. Sept. 24, 1981.

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