Virginia "Castle" Law? - Page 2

Virginia "Castle" Law?

This is a discussion on Virginia "Castle" Law? within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Originally Posted by GWRedDragon Does he have a weapon? If not, it is unlikely to be a 'good shoot' in VA. If he DOES have ...

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Thread: Virginia "Castle" Law?

  1. #16
    Ron
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    Quote Originally Posted by GWRedDragon View Post
    Does he have a weapon? If not, it is unlikely to be a 'good shoot' in VA. If he DOES have a gun, then you're probably in the clear. See Commonwealth v. Sands (Virginia Case Law- Use of Deadly Force Part II)

    The point is that an 'overt act' is required on the part of the BG.
    My hypo stated that they entered their house and found an intruder in their living room holding a handgun. So, he has a gun. He has not yet pointed it at them. Can the homeowner, at that point, shoot the intruder?
    "It does not do to leave a dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him."

    J. R. R. Tolkien


  2. #17
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    Two of my best friends are Commonwealth's Attorneys now, one in Charlottesville, and one in Richmond. Both are ex-military (operators, not lawyers) and pro-2A. I just pinged 'em to see what they had to say on this subject. I'll let y'all know what they say.

  3. #18
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    A note regarding castle doctrine

    If someone invades my home with the perceived intent of doing me or mine bodily harm , I will not be dialing 911. If after that time I am able to speak of the events to others, I will not. I will spend my time cleaning up and asking God for forgiveness, not men. Have a nice day.

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by darkstar View Post
    If someone invades my home with the perceived intent of doing me or mine bodily harm , I will not be dialing 911. If after that time I am able to speak of the events to others, I will not. I will spend my time cleaning up and asking God for forgiveness, not men. Have a nice day.
    While I think I understand what you're meaning is, You still will have to deal with man. Ask God for forgivness but be prepared to deal with the laws of man as well.

    Michael

  5. #20
    New Member Array darkstar's Avatar
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    Perhaps ...

    ... but it would be my intent not to deal with the laws of Man at all. If at all possible, I will not suffer for the acts of a fool. There is always the remote possibility that the incident would be discovered. If so, it is what it is. However, anyone coming through the door with evil on their mind, may well find judgment waiting. I will do what it takes to postpone my own. Take care.

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott View Post
    My lawyer has said that someone being in your home is not enough reason to shoot them, that is the law in VA. You must be able to articulate that you were in fear for your life or of serious bodily harm.
    The law is the same here in NC HOWEVER we are a Castle Doctrine state which means if you catch someone in the act of breaking into your home you can use deadly force without knowing if they pose an actual deadly threat or not. Once they are in however then you have a duty to prove they posed a deadly threat.

    Our law here is also worded vaguely. Here it is:
    § 14‑51.1. Use of deadly physical force against an intruder.

    (a) A lawful occupant within a home or other place of residence is justified in using any degree of force that the occupant reasonably believes is necessary, including deadly force, against an intruder to prevent a forcible entry into the home or residence or to terminate the intruder's unlawful entry (i) if the occupant reasonably apprehends that the intruder may kill or inflict serious bodily harm to the occupant or others in the home or residence, or (ii) if the occupant reasonably believes that the intruder intends to commit a felony in the home or residence.

    (b) A lawful occupant within a home or other place of residence does not have a duty to retreat from an intruder in the circumstances described in this section.

    (c) This section is not intended to repeal, expand, or limit any other defense that may exist under the common law. (1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 673, s. 1.)
    So at which point is a forcible entry ended? Once they are in or once you kill them? The law doesn't stipulate. Further - what constitutes "forcible entry"? One needs to use force to push a door open - even if it is ajar already. Not much force but force nonetheless. It requires force to turn a bedroom doorknob. Again not much force, but force nonetheless.

    Additionally - the law is riddled with the "reasonable man standard" which in many cases of self-defense, will probably end up being a strong part of your lawyer's game-plan.

    Now there are other caveot's to NC's deadly force laws. One is that an individual has the right to use deadly force on behalf of someone else who would be justified in using deadly force. The 3 situations are threat of death, serious bodily harm and sexual assault. As a male, if I am home alone I would more or less need to prove the intruder posed one of the first two BUT if there is a female in the house with me then I can probably pull the sexual assault card on her behalf.

    Note that I am NOT a lawyer - just read and study a lot as well as dated one for 3 years. I also know that this was a thread about VA but as with law anywhere I pulled what I know about NC law to illustrate the subjective nature of law wherever you are.

  7. #22
    Ron
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evil Drew M View Post
    The law is the same here in NC HOWEVER we are a Castle Doctrine state which means if you catch someone in the act of breaking into your home you can use deadly force without knowing if they pose an actual deadly threat or not.
    That is not how I read your statute. Read it again and you will see that it states that you can use deadly force to stop an intrusion only if you reasonably believe they intend , etc, so you still can't shoot them to prevent an intrusion without that reasonable belief.
    "It does not do to leave a dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him."

    J. R. R. Tolkien

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron View Post
    That is not how I read your statute. Read it again and you will see that it states that you can use deadly force to stop an intrusion only if you reasonably believe they intend , etc, so you still can't shoot them to prevent an intrusion without that reasonable belief.
    "Reasonably believe" is the key.

    If it is 3:00 in the morning and I catch someone busting through the front door I have ZERO obligation to wait and see if they have a weapon before I pull the trigger. This is where the "reasonable man standard" comes into play.

    And for the record - in the state-required CCW class we spent almost 2 hours on the Castle Doctrine. I understand it very clearly.

  9. #24
    Ron
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evil Drew M View Post
    "Reasonably believe" is the key.

    If it is 3:00 in the morning and I catch someone busting through the front door I have ZERO obligation to wait and see if they have a weapon before I pull the trigger. This is where the "reasonable man standard" comes into play.

    And for the record - in the state-required CCW class we spent almost 2 hours on the Castle Doctrine. I understand it very clearly.
    No offense intended. I thought it would be helpful to other members to get clarification of your post.

    I agree that it would be reasonable to believe that someone busting through your door at 3am poses a threat under the statute.
    "It does not do to leave a dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him."

    J. R. R. Tolkien

  10. #25
    Member Array Evil Drew M's Avatar
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    We may be arguing semantics here. Certainly the law doesn't allow you to shoot someone who knocks on your door.

    The way the state curriculum presented it, basically one can assume that if someone is forcibly trying to gain entry into your home you are justified in using deadly force WHILE they are in the process of trying to gain entry. There is no obligation under the law to wait and see in any capacity. I believe the verbage you pointed out is to cover against things like people knocking on a door that is ajar and the door opening as well as protect officers and other people who would be knocking on a door that an occupant in the home may not *want* knocking (like bill collectors or Jehoveh's Witness).

    The video shown to us (And approved by the state) basically showed a man coming through a sliding glass door. He had one foot in the house when the homeowner showed up and pulled a gun. This was given a big green checkmark on the screen - meaning pull the trigger.

    The video did NOT show this man breaking the glass, breaking the lock or anything else - only him sliding the door implying that any unwanted entry can be construed as forceful if there was any form of effort required to gain entry.

    Also note that I'm NOT using a video as the basis for my posts - just using it as an example of what the Attorney General has approved as curriculum for when one can and can't use deadly force.

  11. #26
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    One major benefit of most Castle Doctrines is that it also provides added protection against civil litigation in addition to the obvious protection against criminal prosecution.
    NRA life member.

  12. #27
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    Evil Drew

    I too am from NC & my instructor covered this in detail too. They stated if they are breaking in, then you have the right to shoot. Once inside, you've got to wait on the 3 scenarios that you discussed, but if you have a wife or daughters.... there is your main thing; you are worried that they would be asaulted.

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    Thumbs down 2 Wrongs Don't Make a Right

    Quote Originally Posted by darkstar View Post
    ... but it would be my intent not to deal with the laws of Man at all. If at all possible, I will not suffer for the acts of a fool. There is always the remote possibility that the incident would be discovered. If so, it is what it is. However, anyone coming through the door with evil on their mind, may well find judgment waiting. I will do what it takes to postpone my own. Take care.
    If I understand your meaning correctly Darkstar, you are advocating the commission of a crime. The members here are law abiding - we DO NOT condone crimes.

    Failure to report a shooting is a crime, and will guarantee that you will get convicted of murder in the Commonwealth of Virginia. When a shooting is justified, there is no need to hide one's actions.

    It is tough to make a character call on just a few posts, but if this is representative of your outlook and actions, you won't be welcome on DC.

  14. #29
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    Thank you, ctr!

    You are quite correct in the law, however speaking for the entire forum is a bit much. You are also quite correct in stating that you cannot judge a person's character from just two posts. Since I do not know the man, neither will I judge. I do not condone crimes either, nor do I function on that level in my daily activities. In the future, I will be more circumspect of the concepts contained in my postings and show greater concern for the sensitivities of others here. Thank you for your concern. Take care!

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    Quote Originally Posted by darkstar View Post
    You are quite correct in the law, however speaking for the entire forum is a bit much.
    I do speak for the entire forum and believe that the vast majority of our membership are, in fact, law abiding. I expect, though, that the point that he was making that we are very strict in removing all threads or posts where a poster admits to or advises breaking the law. Those that we find having a disregard for the law generally do not remain members here for very long.
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    Coimhéad fearg fhear na foighde; Beware the anger of a patient man.

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