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When is self-defense permitted?

On Behalf of | Sep 1, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

Most of us do not anticipate being put in the position of having to defend ourselves, family or property from the threat of physical harm. Furthermore, the prospect of being faced with criminal charges is likely an alien concept to you. 

However, many people have found themselves needing to defend themselves, their family, property or businesses. Occasionally, defensive behavior results in criminal charges. As a result, understanding the law relating to self-defense is crucial.

A duty to retreat

Self-defense laws vary by jurisdiction. Most states subscribe to the “duty to retreat” doctrine, though. This duty to retreat involves you removing yourself from a scenario when the situation allows it. However, the scale of the threat you face may often override your duty to remove yourself from the setting. As a result, you may have no option but to “stand your ground.” 

The stand your ground principle arises when an individual reasonably believes that a threat of death or serious physical harm is imminent. People have a right to defend themselves in situations like this.

The castle doctrine

The “Castle doctrine” is an extension of the stand your ground principle. However, it differs in the sense that it pertains to protecting property and assets. Section 1289.25 of the Oklahoma state’s Crime and Punishments Code outlines the situations in which the Castle doctrine applies. It explains that individuals have a legal right to defend their homes, vehicles, businesses and places of worship. 

Understanding the law on self-defense means that you will be in a better place to protect your interests. Furthermore, understanding the legal rules and limits to self-defense means you are affording yourself better legal protection.

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