Virginia "Castle" Law?

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; Last year I took a NRA course in home defense. The instructor told us that since Virginia did not have a "Castle Law", we were ...

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Thread: Virginia "Castle" Law?

  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Virginia "Castle" Law?

    Last year I took a NRA course in home defense. The instructor told us that since Virginia did not have a "Castle Law", we were obligated to retreat to the furthermost corner of our homes if invaded by BGs. Only then could we use deadly force to repel the perp.

    Today, a friend of mine came over to laminate his new CCL and told me that in his class (taught by a LEO) they were told that since VA. is a "Commonwealth" the rules of engagement followed old English law and the Castle Law was in effect.

    Anyone know the TRUTH?

    (The truth shall set you free!)


  2. #2
    Member Array Evil One's Avatar
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    “Castle Doctrine” bill passes VA House HoodaThunk?
    Passed in the house and died in the senate.


    Jim
    A Right not exercised, is a Right lost.

  3. #3
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    Virginia Get to Work

    Just sent Senator Quayle a scathing letter regarding this issue. I suggest you all Virginians do the same to your Senator!

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    While I agree correspondence with elected representative is essential for letting out feeling be known to the, not sure a "scathing" letter is the way to go about it. I think a respectful letter spelling out our concerns will be more effective than one that antagonizes.

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    Senior Member Array Scot Van's Avatar
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    Maybe DCJS Instructor will chime in on this one...?
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    From the thread that had to be removed because people started discussing how they would violate the law.

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy
    In Va....

    Justifiable homicide can be your defense if you are totally free from fault and had no part in initiating the altercation. You have no duty to retreat in this case.

    Excusable homicide may be your defense if you were part of the altercation. You must attempt to retreat in this case before using deadly force.

    You may not use deadly force to defend property in Va. Deadly force is only for the protection of life or against serious bodily injury.

    Va. already has case law that's better than a castle doctrine.

    NRA certified instructors are not supposed to discuss legal matters when conducting NRA training courses.

    Consult a criminal defense attorney, one who has experience specifically with self defense case law, for questions of this type.

    (p.s. don't believe anything you read on the internet) ;)

    Randy
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    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. While retreat would certainly strengthen your defense, it is not required if you cannot safely do so.

    I would also point out the bolded text from Randy's other post. For matters that could have an end result of you going to prison, it is worth the time and money to pay a lawyer. Alternatively the NRA Personal Protection courses have a section taught by a lawyer. I have attended both of them and the lawyer section is worth the cost of the course. You get the added benefit of doing some shooting as well.
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    Member Array navyabf2's Avatar
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    +1 to scott. Was exaclty whatVa beach LE told me when it was brought up at a neighborhood watch meeting

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    Ex Member Array ProShooter's Avatar
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    Virginia does not take a stance on the Castle Doctrine either way. Each shooting incident is investigated independantly and a decision made whether it was a good or bad shoot.

    This is based on case law, not statutory law. If a Commonwealth Attorney thinks that you could have handled the situation better, they maintain the right to charge you.

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    Ron
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    If you and your wife walk into your home in Virginia and find an intruder armed with a hand gun standing in your living room, and as you enter he turns to face you, can you shoot him, and based on the facts as I presented them, will it likely be considered a good shooting?

    It seems to me your options are, (1) to try to run back out(retreat) and risk getting shot in the back; (2) ask him what his intent is, ie, to only rob you of your belongings or to also rape your wife and kill you both, and pray it is only to rob; or (3) draw your gun and shoot him.

    What am I missing here? I am interested in responses only from members with factual information. Thanks.
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    Distinguished Member Array GWRedDragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron View Post
    If you and your wife walk into your home in Virginia and find an intruder armed with a hand gun standing in your living room, and as you enter he turns to face you, can you shoot him, and based on the facts as I presented them, will it likely be considered a good shooting?
    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.
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    Another issue for us to pursue on Lobby Day next Monday.
    You'll rock, with a 357 Glock

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    Speaking of Lobby Day, I fully intended to be there UNTIL I learned that another group....the Virginia Bikers ....will be there that same day (actually they start on Sunday with a big confab) to present their agenda. What with the lack of parking spaces and the mobs of folks, I guess I'll stay home.

    Sorry....I just don't like crowds!

    Won't see me in DC the next day either....LOL

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    Senior Member Array Free American's Avatar
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    ZSnake...

    Technically neither are true. Virginia does not have a law on the books concerning self defense / justifiable homicide like you hear of in other states. It is purely based on case law and the whim of the Commonwealth's Attorney. Being in NOVA, and I just assume you mean DC South, you are probably not as well off as those in rural / pro-gun areas of the state.
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    Senior Member Array preachertim's Avatar
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    THIS IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE! When I took My ccw class in Arkansas the instructor told me that it was a rare thing if a woman was convicted for shooting through a door. You should never shoot through the door. He also said Most men always get convicted under those circumstances!My wife understands This.
    Why Would A Preacher ever need a Gun? Its Not for the Sheep , its for the Wolves!

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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by archer51 View Post
    While I agree correspondence with elected representative is essential for letting out feeling be known to the, not sure a "scathing" letter is the way to go about it. I think a respectful letter spelling out our concerns will be more effective than one that antagonizes.
    It was not scathing in the way you are thinking. I agree respectful, courteous letters are best. It was scathing in the sense of its length, seriousness, and expression of dissappointment in his previous votes.

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