2007 ORS 161.205¹
Use of physical force generally

The use of physical force upon another person that would otherwise constitute an offense is justifiable and not criminal under any of the following circumstances:

(1) A parent, guardian or other person entrusted with the care and supervision of a minor or an incompetent person may use reasonable physical force upon such minor or incompetent person when and to the extent the person reasonably believes it necessary to maintain discipline or to promote the welfare of the minor or incompetent person. A teacher may use reasonable physical force upon a student when and to the extent the teacher reasonably believes it necessary to maintain order in the school or classroom or at a school activity or event, whether or not it is held on school property.

(2) An authorized official of a jail, prison or correctional facility may use physical force when and to the extent that the official reasonably believes it necessary to maintain order and discipline or as is authorized by law.

(3) A person responsible for the maintenance of order in a common carrier of passengers, or a person acting under the direction of the person, may use physical force when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes it necessary to maintain order, but the person may use deadly physical force only when the person reasonably believes it necessary to prevent death or serious physical injury.

(4) A person acting under a reasonable belief that another person is about to commit suicide or to inflict serious physical self-injury may use physical force upon that person to the extent that the person reasonably believes it necessary to thwart the result.

(5) A person may use physical force upon another person in self-defense or in defending a third person, in defending property, in making an arrest or in preventing an escape, as hereafter prescribed in chapter 743, Oregon Laws 1971. [1971 c.743 §21; 1981 c.246 §1]

Note: See note under 161.015 (General definitions).

Notes of Decisions

Generally, existence of statutory de­fense to crim­i­nal pros­e­cu­­tion does not necessarily mean that civil liability can be avoided as well. Hatfield v. Gracen, 279 Or 303, 567 P2d 546 (1977)

Where arrest is made with excessive force, arrestee may use reasonable physical force in self-de­fense against excessive force being used by arresting of­fi­cer. State v. Wright, 310 Or 430, 799 P2d 642 (1990)

Law Review Cita­tions

19 WLR 166 (1983)

Notes of Decisions

Under Former Similar Statute (ORS 163.110)

There were cases where self-de­fense would not be a de­fense but the right to self-de­fense was still available to es­tab­lish that the defendant was engaged in a lawful act at the time of the killing. State v. Leos, 7 Or App 211, 490 P2d 521 (1971)

Chapter 161

Notes of Decisions

A juvenile court adjudica­tion of whether or not a child committed acts which would be a crim­i­nal viola­tion if committed by an adult must necessarily include an adjudica­tion of all af­firm­a­tive de­fenses that would be available to an adult being tried for the same crim­i­nal viola­tion. State ex rel Juvenile Dept. v. L. J., 26 Or App 461, 552 P2d 1322 (1976)

Law Review Cita­tions

2 EL 237 (1971); 51 OLR 427-637 (1972)


1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 161—General Provisions, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­161.­html (2007) (last ac­cessed Feb. 12, 2009).
 
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2007, Chapter 161, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­161ano.­htm (2007) (last ac­cessed Feb. 12, 2009).
 
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent.