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Criminal Defense Blog

When Can You Protect Yourself In Your Home – Does the Castle Doctrine Always Apply?

A recent Springfield case has again started the age old debate of “when can a person protect themselves in their own home?”  This freedom to protect oneself in their home is more commonly known as “the castle doctrine”.  The Springfield CBS affiliate, KOLR10, recently tackled the topic in a news story where they interviewed attorney Adam Woody on the topic.

The real crux of the questions comes down to “was the action by the homeowner reasonable under the circumstances?”  If the answer is yes, then the homeowner was justified.  However, there is a lot of gray area.  For example, what if a supposed intruder is in the front yard of the home rather than attempting to immediately gain entry?  What if the intruder is merely breaking into a car in the driveway?  These are all questions to be asked and areas to be investigated and considered by police and prosecutors.  In case you encounter this situation, it is always smart to familiarize yourself with the Castle Doctrine self-defense statute, and to err on the side of caution.  Always call the police first, and use deadly force only when abundantly necessary.  You certainly have a right to defend yourself in your own home, but you also want to protect yourself from potential criminal prosecution.  Be safe!