The Arizona Revised Statutes have been updated to include the revised sections from the 55th Legislature, 1st Regular Session. Please note that the next update of this compilation will not take place until after the conclusion of the 55th Legislature, 2nd Regular Session, which convenes in January 2022.
This online version of the Arizona Revised Statutes is primarily maintained for legislative drafting purposes and reflects the version of law that is effective on January 1st of the year following the most recent legislative session. The official version of the Arizona Revised Statutes is published by Thomson Reuters.
13-403. Justification; use of physical force
The use of physical force upon another person which would otherwise constitute an offense is justifiable and not criminal under any of the following circumstances:
1. A parent or guardian and a teacher or other person entrusted with the care and supervision of a minor or incompetent person may use reasonable and appropriate physical force upon the minor or incompetent person when and to the extent reasonably necessary and appropriate to maintain discipline.
2. A superintendent or other entrusted official of a jail, prison or correctional institution may use physical force for the preservation of peace, to maintain order or discipline, or to prevent the commission of any felony or misdemeanor.
3. A person responsible for the maintenance of order in a place where others are assembled or on a common motor carrier of passengers, or a person acting under his direction, may use physical force if and to the extent that a reasonable person would believe it necessary to maintain order, but such person may use deadly physical force only if reasonably 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 injury upon himself may use physical force upon that person to the extent reasonably necessary to thwart the result.
5. A duly licensed physician or a registered nurse or a person acting under his direction, or any other person who renders emergency care at the scene of an emergency occurrence, may use reasonable physical force for the purpose of administering a recognized and lawful form of treatment which is reasonably adapted to promoting the physical or mental health of the patient if:
(a) The treatment is administered with the consent of the patient or, if the patient is a minor or an incompetent person, with the consent of his parent, guardian or other person entrusted with his care and supervision except as otherwise provided by law; or
(b) The treatment is administered in an emergency when the person administering such treatment reasonably believes that no one competent to consent can be consulted and that a reasonable person, wishing to safeguard the welfare of the patient, would consent.
6. A person may otherwise use physical force upon another person as further provided in this chapter.