Senate Bill 145 History
Senate Bill No. 145
(By Senators Love, Green, Prezioso, Sypolt, Boley, Unger,
Jenkins, Bowman, Tomblin, Mr. President, Plymale, Kessler,
Chafin, Wells, Oliverio, Guills, Facemyer, McKenzie, Edgell,
Foster, Deem, Fanning, Barnes, McCabe, Caruth, Hunter, Helmick,
Bailey, Yoder, Sharpe, Minard, White, Stollings, Hall and
[Introduced January 9, 2008; referred to the Committee on the
A BILL to amend and reenact §55-7-22 of the Code of West Virginia,
1931, as amended, relating to clarifying that reasonable force
may be used to protect one's self, real and personal property
and the person and property of another; and clarifying that
use of reasonable and proportionate force to defend is an
absolute defense criminally and civilly.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §55-7-22 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended,
be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 7. ACTIONS FOR INJURIES.
§55-7-22. Civil immunity to persons resisting criminal activities.
(a) Any person who unlawfully enters upon the property of another, enters into the motor vehicle of another or enters upon
any location where another has a right to be for purposes of
engaging in criminal conduct assumes the risk for any injury,
including, but not limited to, death, caused to him or her by the
reasonable and proportionate acts of the owner,
or his or her agent
or another in resisting the commission of the criminal conduct.
(b) The use of reasonable and proportionate force for the
purpose of protecting one's self, his or her property or the person
or property of another as contemplated by the provisions of
subsection (a) of this section shall constitute a full and complete
defense to any action at law based upon the use of such force.
(b)(c) The provisions of this section do not apply to the
creation of a hazardous or dangerous condition on the property
designed to prevent criminal conduct or cause injury to a person
engaging in criminal conduct.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to authorize the use of
proportionate force by a person in any place the person has a legal
right to be against an intruder or attacker. The bill also
provides that the use of proportionate force is a full defense,
civilly or criminally.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from
the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would