take the law into (one's) own hands

(redirected from took the law into your own hands)

take the law into (one's) own hands

To act outside the scope of the law to achieve one's own sense of justice, typically by killing, punishing, or passing judgment on wrongdoers. Shopkeepers in the area have begun taking the law into their own hands, catching would-be thieves and tying them up until police arrive. I know you're frustrated by how long it's taken the police to respond, but you can't just take the law into your own hands.
See also: hand, law, own, take

take the law into one's own hands

Fig. to attempt to administer the law; to pass judgment on someone who has done something wrong. Citizens don't have the right to take the law into their own hands. The shopkeeper took the law into his own hands when he tried to arrest the thief.
See also: hand, law, own, take

take the law into one's hands

Also, take the law into one's own hands. Replace the established authority with one's own, as in While the captain was on shore the sailors took the law into their own hands and sneaked the prisoner off the ship . Generally indicating disapproval of doing something forbidden, this idiom was first recorded in 1606.
See also: hand, law, take

take the law into your own hands

COMMON If you take the law into your own hands, you punish someone who you believe has done something wrong yourself instead of waiting for someone in authority to do it. Ordinary people have decided to take the law into their own hands, faced with what they see as the inability of the police to control a crime wave in the region. He took the law into his own hands when his mother was mugged. He went out and attacked the man with a baseball bat.
See also: hand, law, own, take

take the law into your own hands

punish someone for an offence according to your own ideas of justice, especially in an illegal or violent way.
See also: hand, law, own, take

take the law into your own ˈhands

take action personally against somebody who has broken the law or done something wrong, instead of calling the police: I knew who had stolen my car, so I took the law into my own hands. I went to his house and beat him up. The police arrested both of us!
See also: hand, law, own, take

take the law into (one's) own hands

To mete out justice as one sees fit without due recourse to law enforcement agencies or the courts.
See also: hand, law, own, take
References in periodicals archive ?
You jumped to a conclusion and rather than confront your partner with it, you simply took the law into your own hands.
Ordering Brown to do 100 hours community service, Sheriff Kevin Drummond told him: "You took the law into your own hands and you cannot do that.
Mr Manning-Davies told her: ``Your daughter became addicted to heroin and, rightly or wrongly, you blame Mrs Western for that, but you took the law into your own hands.
At the High Court in Edinburgh, Lord Eassie told her: "You took the law into your own hands.