The Justified Use of Force Defense in Illinois

(938 Ratings)

Produced on: October 04, 2016

Course Format On Demand Audio

Taught by


Course Description

Time 60 minutes
Difficulty Intermediate

This lecture describes the practical problems of presenting justified use of force defenses in Illinois. Topics include: (1) burdens of proof, including the relationship between self defense and second degree murder, (2) deadly force, (3) rules governing use of force by initial aggressors and non-aggressors, (4) no duty to retreat, (5) “Lynch” material, (6) the relationship between self defense and defenses such as necessity, mistake, insanity, and accident, and (7) preparation of the justification case for trial.

Learning Objectives: 

  1. Review Illinois criminal law on the Justified Use of Force defense
  2. Understand the practical issues and pitfalls involved in presenting the justification defense in defending a criminal client


Stephen Richards

Law Office of Stephen L. Richards

Areas of Practice

• Murder -- Homicide -- Death Penalty Cases

• Serious Felonies

• Drug / Weapons Cases

• Appeals -- Post-Convictions

• Sentencing -- Mitigation

• Civil Rights/1983

• Legal Education

• Legal Ethics

Litigation Percentage

• 100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Certified Legal Specialties

• Certified Lead Counsel, Capital Litigation Trial Bar, Illinois Supreme Court, 2001

Bar Admissions

• Illinois, 1985

• U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois, 2008


• Brooklyn Law School, Brooklyn, New York

  o J.D. - 1983

  o Honors: Order of Barristers, Moot Court

• University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

  o B.A.

  o Honors: With Honors 

  o Major: History

Published Works

• Reasonable Doubt Redux, 34 John Marshall L. Rev. 495, 2001

• The Admissibility of Expert Testimony, American Bar Association, 2003

Representative Cases

• People v. Terry Griggs, 152 Ill.2d 1, 604 N.E.2d 257 (Ill. S. Ct. 1992)

• People v. Arthur King, 154 Ill.2d 217, 608 N.E.2d 877 (Ill. S. Ct. 1993)


• New Ideas for Jury Selection, Illinois Public Defender Association, 2007

• Capital Jury Selection, Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal, 2007

Honors and Awards

• Kutak-Dodds Award, Defender Prize, National Legal Aid and Defender Association, 2003

Professional Associations and Memberships

• Illinois Public Defender Association, President, 2006 - 2008

• Illinois Public Defender Association, Board Member, 2000 - Present

Past Employment Positions

• Office of the State Appellate Defender, Deputy Defender, 2000 - 2008

• Law Office of the Cook County Public Defender, Assistant Public Defender, 1989 - 2000


Rebecca J.

Good use of actual experience

Milka C.

Excellent speaker!

Richard H.

The instructor used relevant personal case experience which was highly effective.

Dawn L.

This presentation was informative and fascinating.

Gerardo D.


Dana H.

This presenter is really great and I like that he uses examples from his practice to illustrate the concepts.

Myles H.

Helpful and cited well

Natasha G.

My fav course so far. Liked that gave several case examples

Amy B.

Interesting course!

mark f.


Donna W.

The speaker was engaging and so knowledgeable. The wealth of legal cites in the materials and his tying those cites to current cases was quite helpful.

Sam W.

Very informative and enjoyable presentation. For some reason, the link to download the written materials was not functioning. I would very much like to have these. Please email me to let me know how I can obtain them.

Robert M.

Use of actual personal cases help illustrate the law well.

john w.

it was interesting

Patricia F.

Full of insights

Julie A. B.

Richards hits the bull’s eye again in this masterfully paced Lawline program that thoughtfully relays the pros and cons, pluses and minuses of the justified use of force defense in Illinois. Case illustrations and presenter’s professional experiences are generously shared throughout this adeptly delivered presentation.

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$ 59 Criminal Law and Litigation In Stock


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