Everything You Need to Know About “Castle Doctrine” (Stand Your Ground) in California
Though technically California does not have a “stand your ground” policy, it does have a castle doctrine. This is very similar to a stand your ground policy but is expanded to include a person’s workplace or other real property in addition to their home. Keep reading to learn about the specifics of the castle doctrine. If you need legal advice, contact The Mattern Law Firm at 310-342-8254 now for your free legal consultation.
What the Castle Doctrine Says
The Castle Doctrine in the state of California says that a person can use deadly force within their own home if they believe they are in grave danger. One example is an armed robber who forces their way into a home. If that armed robber has a gun and points it at you, then you are legally allowed to use deadly force with a gun or other means.
That said, just because you feel threatened and use this defense does not mean that you cannot be convicted of homicide. You must be able to prove that you reasonably felt in fear for your life. If the prosecution does not believe that was the case and takes you to trail, then you will have to convince the jury that you acted reasonably and were in danger of your life.
The Castle Doctrine Can Apply Out of the Home
Unlike in most stand your ground states, the castle doctrine can apply when you are not at home. For example, if you are at work and feel threated for your life then you may able to use deadly force. This is referred to as “justifiable homicide,” which means that the jury would find you innocent of homicide, assault, etc.
In order for justifiable homicide to be used, you must be able to prove that you reasonably believed that you were in danger of being seriously hurt or killed, that you believed the only course of action to stop this was to use force, and that you did not use more force than necessary to stop the threat. You are not required by the law in California to run away – you can stand your ground and defend yourself if you are truly in danger.
Work with an Experienced Attorney if You Have Been Involved in a Castle Doctrine Case
If you have injured or killed someone who was putting your life or the life of others in danger, you cannot simply assume that the case will work out in your favor. What may seem obvious to you can be twisted by the prosecution. It is always wise to have a criminal defense attorney on your side – even if you know you are not guilty of a crime. Contact The Mattern Law Firm at 310-342-8254 now to request a free legal consultation.