The recent increase in crime and violence in the United States has led to a surge in gun ownership.
Gun ownership laws in the United States vary from state to state.
The state of Seattle and Washington have been said to have an increase in civil unrest and violence.
Worse yet, the local leadership and the police have shown no interest in protecting citizens’ property or businesses.
Looting, vandalism, rioting, and property damage have been a norm in the lives of American citizens especially in downtown Seattle.
This, as a result, has caused working citizens to take up the mantle of protecting their property by employing self-defense mechanisms such as owning guns.
Research has shown that Seattle has recorded more first-time gun owners in America than ever before.
No piece of property is worth someone’s life but when another life is in danger self-defense is the best call of action.
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Let us take a look at some of all the laws of the United States that talk about such situations.
1. Is it considered self-defense when you shoot an intruder?
The law states that everyone has the right to defend themselves with a reasonable response.
Oftentimes, self-defense is regarded as an affirmative defense to a charged violent crime.
This resultantly means that if in any case someone is charged with murder or assault, yet it was all in self-defense then they can use self-defense as a legal excuse.
However, using self-defense as a legal excuse will require you to prove that the murder or assault you committed was a reasonable response.
If you are to be shielded against being convicted for a violent crime charge in the name of self-defense;
- You should have been the aggressor.
- Ensure that the force you used to combat the threat was equal to the threat itself.
- You should have good reason to believe that the attack or threat was imminent.
- You should have retreated.
2. The differences and similarities between Self-defense and Castle Doctrine.
Just as its name, the Castle Doctrine stems from old English Common Law that stated that your home was your castle thus had every right to defend it.
The Castle doctrine in a way does away with the requirement of retreating when defending your home against intruders.
This is the main difference between self-defense and the Castle Doctrine law.
Different states in the United States have different versions of the Castle Doctrine embedded in their laws.
Most states allow the use of deadly physical force if an intruder is in the process of unlawfully or forcefully break into a residence.
The use of deadly physical force then will be justifiable.
Other states allow the use of deadly force if an intruder is unlawfully and forcefully breaking into a business or an occupied vehicle.
3. When to retreat or stand your ground.
States differ with these laws, in some states, there is a duty to retreat to safety and in other states, there are stand your ground laws.
With the stay your ground law, you are allowed to stay your ground and take over defense wherever you feel threatened.
While in the Castle defense, the necessity of retreating is ruled out only because it is your home, business, or automobile.
It is important to be well conversant with the laws that govern your state and know what your legal rights are.
There is a difference between the two and not all laws apply country-wide in all states.
Self-defense, stand your ground and Castle Doctrine is all defense laws that can prevent you from being charged but does not apply in all cases nor all states.
As we have seen, the issue of self-defense is an intricate topic that has many variables around it.
Also, these laws differ from state to state such that some different articles and statutes have been put across to govern such situations.
If you have been charged with a criminal offense and believe that you acted in self-defense, the best course of action is to talk to a defense attorney and see your options.
This might leave you wondering if using lethal force to deter or combat Intruders is legal.
Situations might differ, different jurisdictions have different laws so it is best to use lethal force when you are certain that your life is in undeniable danger.