When protecting yourself, what rights do you have when an intruder comes into your house?
I live in Kentucky, and we have the "Castle Doctrine" to cover this. This is a law that allows homeowners to defend themselves with deadly force when a person enters their home to commit a crime such a burglary or arson. The "Castle Doctrine" defines a citizen’s home as his castle, and when breeched by an intruder, the homeowner has a right to protect it by law.
The Castle doctrine, in Kentucky, as WHAS11 News states it, “In Kentucky, your car is your “castle”, so to speak, and if you think anyone is trying to enter it to harm you, you have the right to shoot,” and further clarifies when asked about simply rolling up ones windows, with, “ While it may be prudent, it's not required. Does the driver have an obligation to drive away or roll up the windows? No. Because historically, in a lot of states, you have an obligation to retreat, which means you can't use deadly force. The Castle law creates an exception to that, which gives you the right to use deadly force without retreating.
Combined with established laws in 21 states, with labels of “Stand your Ground," "No Duty to Retreat, or “Do Not Retreat;” the "Castle Doctrine" is put into effect to blanket potential victims and as a means of protection from being suspects. These laws were enacted at the behest of the NRA (National Rifle Association).
Law officers state it covers citizens who find themselves in a situation where severe injury is threatened, or death could be a result. The law is meant to allow for a person to protect themselves with the means, or any level or force, necessary to accomplish this.
Stipulations do apply, of course.
If you are outside on the property, you do have a right to shoot. This is where it’s important to KNOW your rights. If you are INSIDE your home with the intruder outside, the intruder must cross the threshold BEFORE you can shoot as a defense.
It’s a very gray area to say you are under imminent threat when inside and the intruder outside, but the law considers the fact if you are secure within a holding on the premises you have a form of protection and the law may not extend to cover that in many cases. It would be rare for it to cover, say a small woman approaching a man versus a woman inside with a large man as the aggressor coming to the door armed in a threatening manner. For the citizen to evaluate the situation and make the determination to defend themselves would fall upon the District Attorney to decide on whether charges would be filed. For example, this doctrine does NOT apply to two people living under one roof. The Queen cannot shoot the King and think she has a free pass to do so.
As much heat as it takes, In reality it’s hard to measure any noticeable effects from the law, as “justifiable-homicide trends are not markedly different in states with and without Stand Your Ground,” reports an article in The National Review.
Since the law has been hot in the news lately with many states being asked to repeal their “Stand Your Ground” and “Castle Doctrine” laws citing it’s not a “license to murder;” it’s best to KNOW what rights you have for protection of your person and property before any situations arise where that determination is called into play- with only a split second to evaluate.
"It is the tradition a Kentuckian never runs- he doesnt have to," the state's high court said in 1931, reversing the manslaughter convictions of two men who killed a third in a drunken brawl. (reported by The Courier Journal)
Thu, April 19, 2012
by Dyann Callahan filed under