Ohio’s castle law allows you to defend yourself in your home. Otherwise known as the “castle doctrine,” the law now recognizes the security and sanctity of the home.
Ohio law previously required the victim of a home invasion to retreat before using deadly force against the intruder. If the person in the home used deadly force, that person had to prove that he or she acted out of fear of serious physical injury or death.
Castle Law Is A Defense To Deadly Force
The castle law presumes you have acted in self-defense or defense of another when using deadly force against someone who has unlawfully entered one’s home or vehicle. If the person were to be charged, the prosecution would have to prove that the intruder did not enter your house or vehicle with the intent of causing harm.
The castle doctrine is important because the homeowner may not be able to retreat in one’s home. There may be other people who live in the home that the person wishes to protect. Those people could be away from the home at the time and could walk in on the dangerous situation at any moment.
Is The Castle Law Controversial?
While Ohio’s law has some similarity to the stand your ground laws in other states that have gotten so much attention recently, the castle doctrine only extends this privilege to the home or vehicle. While a vehicle may not seem to be as important as a home, it would otherwise defy logic to require one to retreat while being attacked in a vehicle. There is usually no place to go in a vehicle. If one leaves the vehicle with the keys in the vehicle, the perpetrator would then be able to use the vehicle as a weapon.
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