General Provisions

ORS 161.225
Use of physical force in defense of premises


A person in lawful possession or control of premises is justified in using physical force upon another person when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes it necessary to prevent or terminate what the person reasonably believes to be the commission or attempted commission of a criminal trespass by the other person in or upon the premises.


A person may use deadly physical force under the circumstances set forth in subsection (1) of this section only:


In defense of a person as provided in ORS 161.219 (Limitations on use of deadly physical force in defense of a person); or


When the person reasonably believes it necessary to prevent the commission of arson or a felony by force and violence by the trespasser.


As used in subsection (1) and subsection (2)(a) of this section, “premises” includes any building as defined in ORS 164.205 (Definitions for ORS 164.205 to 164.270) and any real property. As used in subsection (2)(b) of this section, “premises” includes any building. [1971 c.743 §25]

Notes of Decisions

Since the legislature's intention in enacting this section and ORS 161.219 was to codify the common law of self-defense and not to articulate a new standard, the statutory phrases requiring that there be a "felony involving the use or threatened imminent use of physical force against a person," "unlawful deadly physical force," or a "felony by force and violence" are the functional equivalents of the case law requirement of "great bodily harm." State v. Burns, 15 Or App 552, 516 P2d 748 (1973), Sup Ct review denied

Defendant is entitled to a jury instruction on self-defense under either this section or ORS 161.219 if there is evidence in the record that he was in imminent danger of receiving great bodily harm from the other person. State v. Burns, 15 Or App 552, 516 P2d 748 (1973), Sup Ct review denied

In prosecution for menacing, under evidence, inter alia, that defendant knew of earlier confrontation, defendant had been past victim of vandalism, that juveniles had driven by house and sped away three times before parking in driveway, defendant was entitled to instruction on theory that he acted in defense of his premises. State v. Lockwood, 43 Or App 639, 603 P2d 1231 (1979)

Law Review Citations

21 EL 219 (1991)

§§ 161.190 to 161.265

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)

Chapter 161

Criminal Code


Notes of Decisions

Legislature's adoption of 1971 Criminal Code did not abolish doctrine of transferred intent. State v. Wesley, 254 Or App 697, 295 P3d 1147 (2013), Sup Ct review denied


Last accessed
Jun. 26, 2021