Question About Castle Doctrine

This is a discussion on Question About Castle Doctrine within the Home (And Away From Home) Defense Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I'm moving to Rhode Island next month and I've found out the state has a castle doctrine law. The only difference I can see between ...

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Thread: Question About Castle Doctrine

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array mojust's Avatar
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    Question About Castle Doctrine

    I'm moving to Rhode Island next month and I've found out the state has a castle doctrine law. The only difference I can see between Connecticut, which is not a castle doctrine state, and Rhode Island, which is, is that you don't have to retreat. Castle doctrine states that you can use lethal force only when you are convinced that you are in danger of death or great bodily harm.

    Now, what if I discover a burglar in my house who says, "Don't shoot me, I'm only going to rob you." This would mean that I'd have to stand there and watch myself being robbed and as long as he didn't try to inflict "great bodily harm" on me or my wife I would not be justified in shooting him. He could stuff his bag until he heard the sirens coming.

    Now, my consideration is that if I wake up in the night and hear someone in my house and I look next to me and discover my wife is still in bed with me I can assume the extra person in my house doesn't belong there. How can I know if this person intends to kill or harm me? It's dark. Things are uncertain.

    I find this version of castle doctrine to be very mushy.

    Anybody got any thoughts on this?
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    VIP Member Array xXxplosive's Avatar
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    This is where training and good judgement comes into play, IMO..........I always have a flashlight, cell phone and my .45 on my night table next to me. Should you experience a home invasion during the night your options are to call 911 and stay put..... or..... to call 911 and clear your home if you are able. Either way you will have to determine whether you and your loved ones are at deadly risk.
    Our first line of defense would be our male German Shepard then me and my sons. IOO, if someone enters my home at night knowing full well it is occupied..........he's there to do us bodily harm................IT's ON.

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    VIP Member Array mcp1810's Avatar
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    What the law says:
    11-8-8 Injury or death – Defense. – In the event that any person shall die or shall sustain a personal injury in any way or for any cause while in the commission of any criminal offense enumerated in 11-8-2 – 11-8-6, it shall be rebuttably presumed as a matter of law in any civil or criminal proceeding that the owner, tenant, or occupier of the place where the offense was committed acted by reasonable means in self-defense and in the reasonable belief that the person engaged in the criminal offense was about to inflict great bodily harm or death upon that person or any other individual lawfully in the place where the criminal offense was committed. There shall be no duty on the part of an owner, tenant, or occupier to retreat from any person engaged in the commission of any criminal offense enumerated in 11-8-2 – 11-8-6.
    That means if they chose to prosecute you they have to prove your use of force was unreasonable. If the BG is facing you and you shoot him COM in the middle of your living room the other side has to prove somehow that he was no threat. That is not going to be easy for them. If you shoot him in the back as he is diving out a window, you could have problems.
    Overall it really doesn't look that bad, but it would be nice if they included flat out civil immunity in that too.
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    Distinguished Member Array skysoldier29's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mojust View Post
    Now, what if I discover a burglar in my house who says, "Don't shoot me, I'm only going to rob you."
    Criminals are so honest.

    Michigan as well as the castle doctrine as well, with that said in Michigan you can only use deadly force to prevent death, great bodily harm, or rape. If I can ensure myself and my family are going to make it through the encounter without firing a shot then I won't shoot and I'll call the cops and they can come do their thing. Now the second the circumstances change then I will act accordingly to ensure my families safety.

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    VIP Member Array tkruf's Avatar
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    INAL but Castle Doctrine which states no duty to retreat means that you stand your ground. If someone is in your house in the middle of the night, shoot first and ask questions later. Georgia has a Castle Doctrine and Stand your ground laws. This BG kept breaking into this old ladies garage stealing from her. She got tired of it and waited for him. When he broke in one night, she shot him dead. Local law enforcement didn't do a thing to her.

    If someone is in your house in the middle of the night, or any time for that matter, and you don't know them, didn't invite them, and they have no business being there... they are not there to bring you a sweepsteaks check I guarantee you. If you are in a Castle Doctrine state, shoot the fool !

    But..., INAL of course.
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    VIP Member Array ctsketch's Avatar
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    CONNECTICUT LAW

    Under Connecticut law, a person may use physical force (self defense): to protect himself or a third person, his home or office, or his property; to make an arrest or prevent an escape; or to perform certain duties (for example, a corrections officer may use force to maintain order and discipline, a teacher to protect a minor, and a parent to discipline a child). A person cannot use physical force to resist arrest by a reasonably identifiable peace officer, whether the arrest is legal or not (CGS 53a-23).

    Self defense or justification is a defense in any prosecution (CGS 53a-16). The person claiming justification has the initial burden of producing sufficient evidence to assert self-defense. When raised as a defense at a trial, the state has the burden of disproving self defense beyond a reasonable doubt (CGS 53a-12).

    Physical Force in Defense of Premises

    A person who possesses or controls property or has a license or privilege to be in or on it is justified in using reasonable physical force when and to the extent he reasonably believes it to be necessary to stop another from trespassing or attempting to trespass in or upon it. The owner can use deadly physical force only (1) to defend a person as described above, (2) when he reasonably believes it is necessary to prevent the trespasser from attempting to commit arson or any violent crime, or (3) to the extent he reasonably believes it is necessary to stop someone from forcibly entering his home or workplace (and for the sole purpose of stopping the intruder) (CGS 53a-20).

    Physical Force in Defense of Property

    A person is justified in using reasonable physical force when and to the extent he reasonably believes it necessary to (1) prevent attempted larceny or criminal mischief involving property or (2) regain property that he reasonably believes was stolen shortly before.

    When defending property, deadly force may be used only when it is necessary to defend a person from the use or imminent use of deadly physical force or infliction or imminent infliction of great bodily harm as described above (CGS 53a-21).
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    The courts would love you to let the BG take whatever and go on about his way with neither party doing anyone any harm but in the real world it won't happen that way.

    There have been many discussions on here regarding how the castle doctrine is interpreted and what different people would do. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion so here is mine. In the event someone broke into my home and I was there I would first identify that person as a threat, if safe to do so order him to the ground or if he chooses to leave then go for it. Should he become aggresive or attempt to harm myself or anyone else I would stop that action with whatever means were at my disposal up to and including deadly force.

    In some states you are immune from civil prosecution in many SD acts, don't know about where you are, but in no state are you immune from the laws of common sense. I am sorry I cannot agree in any way with the advice of shoot first and ask questions later and rely on the castle doctrine statute to save you.
    Castle Doctrines "generally different laws for different states" are there so a homeowner does not have an obligation to retreat that does not mean that many other criteria in regards to deadly force are thrown out the window and you have a free hunting permit in your living room because some guy broke in. As far as waiting for a BG to break in and gunning him down may fall under the same premise as setting up a booby trap and killing someone. It shows premeditation on your part and may make the castle doctrine invalid in that instance.

    If someone comes into your home defend yourself and your family from the direct threat, not what he could have or would have done but the direct immediate threat at that time and you will come out on top.

    I am sure there are states out there where it is legal to engage in deadly force for the mere act of breaking into an occupied residence remember different laws for different places.
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    Member Array Gamisou's Avatar
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    That's when u threaten to break all the bones in his body at gunpiint if he doesnt leave right then in there, with his hands empty. If he refuses, beat the heck out of him till the cops show up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ctsketch View Post
    CONNECTICUT LAW

    Under Connecticut law, a person may use physical force (self defense): to protect himself or a third person....
    Sketch, thank you for posting this - you beat me to it. I appears to me that the original poster is not fully aware of the extent of CT law with respect to "castle doctrine" issues, although I give him credit for looking into what the law will be in his new state.

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    VIP Member Array NC Bullseye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mojust View Post
    Now, what if I discover a burglar in my house who says, "Don't shoot me, I'm only going to rob you."

    Anybody got any thoughts on this?
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    Senior Member Array Sig35seven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tkruf View Post
    If someone is in your house in the middle of the night, shoot first and ask questions later.

    If someone is in your house in the middle of the night, or any time for that matter, and you don't know them, didn't invite them, and they have no business being there... they are not there to bring you a sweepsteaks check I guarantee you. If you are in a Castle Doctrine state, shoot the fool !
    I have a neighbor that sounds a lot like you. I think he is actually hoping that someone does break in so he can shoot them. It seems he would feel gratified by killing someone committing a crime. He has the opinion that he is justified killing anyone who crosses the threshold of his home.

    So your advise is to just start shooting ???

    Reminds of the case in Laredo Texas were a man shot a 13 year old boy in the back for stealing twinkies. Or another case in Kentucky where a man shot through his door killing a guy who was drunk and didn't realize he was at the wrong house.

    INAL either but my advice would be...If I had an intruder I would call 911 while taking cover. I would announce to them I have a gun and will use it if needed. If they ran for the door, fine, let them go. Make it very clear that any movement or action by them could result in them being shot and that the police are on the way. They will most likely run. The last thing I would want to do is kill them, however, any movement towards me would immediately result in open fire. Remain ready to fire and in your covered area until police arrive.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mojust View Post

    Now, what if I discover a burglar in my house who says, "Don't shoot me, I'm only going to rob you." This would mean that I'd have to stand there and watch myself being robbed and as long as he didn't try to inflict "great bodily harm" on me or my wife I would not be justified in shooting him. He could stuff his bag until he heard the sirens coming.
    First off, I could care less what the burlar says he's going to do. If someone breaks into your house with some criminal intent, you'd be crazy to assume that you could trust his actions. Secondly, if that scenario actually ever happened I'm pretty sure anyone willing to discuss the terms by which they will rob you would think better of continuing to rob someone who was holding them at gunpoint; they'd most likely turn and flee. If not, they pretty much deserve what would be coming next...

    That said, I totally understand your overall point but I think it's pretty unreasonable to assume that if someone breaks into an occupied home that the homeowner wouldn't have an automatic legitimate reason to fear for their safety. I know I most certainly would, and the bottom line for me would be I'd rather make my error on the side of keeping myself and my family alive and safe than assuming that I need to get beaten, stabbed or shot before I could legitimately justify shooing someone. A criminal is a criminal and they don't deserve too much benefit of the doubt when they have broken into your home and you have a family to protect.

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    Senior Member Array Chief1297's Avatar
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    If my 80 pound puppy couldnt convince someone to leave, then they must be up to no good. The only problem I have in shooting the person is doing it in such a way as to not hit my dog who would most likely be all over the guy. I really like my dog.
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    First off, you need to fully understand the castle doctrine law and its application in the state in which you reside (or will). In Fl, the burgler's in deep poo--period.

    Secondly; who else is there to "hear" the burgler say he isn't going to harm you? No witnesses? Nuff said. He's in the wrong place at any time.
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    make sure there is only ONE story. YOURS.

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