Virginia Castle Doctrine Bill

Virginia Castle Doctrine Bill

This is a discussion on Virginia Castle Doctrine Bill within the The Second Amendment & Gun Legislation Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; A Castle Doctrine Bill is being considered by the Virginia's House. HB 251 "Self-defense; person who lawfully occupies dwelling may use degree of force against ...

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  1. #1
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    Virginia Castle Doctrine Bill

    A Castle Doctrine Bill is being considered by the Virginia's House.

    HB 251 "Self-defense; person who lawfully occupies dwelling may use degree of force against an intruder" provides that any person who lawfully occupies a dwelling is justified in using any degree of physical force, including deadly physical force, against another person when the other person has unlawfully entered the dwelling, has committed an overt act toward the occupant or another person in the dwelling, and the occupant reasonably believes he or another person in the dwelling is in imminent danger of bodily injury. The bill also provides that a person who uses justifiable force against an intruder shall be immune from civil liability for injuries or death of the other person.

    Please write/call/email the committee (and if a VA resident, your Delegate).

    If you are a non-Virginia citizen please join in, especially if you travel to/through Virginia -- and even more especially, if you live in a State w/ a Castle Doctrine. You can talk about how it works/helps in your State and/or focus on how the lack of immune from civil liability can cost out-of-States to defend themselves from frivolous civil suits and as a result reduce tourism, etc.

    BTW -- you can track Va gun legislation @ VCDL's 2010 Legislation Tracking Tool and/or use the site to send an email to all committee members.
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    Veni, Vidi, Velcro


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array varob's Avatar
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    Dave thanks for the update. I thought this was HB 854?
    Don't believe what you hear and only half of what you see!
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  3. #3
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    Yup; BUT....

    HB854 is also a Castle Doctrine bill to protects a citizen who has to use force, including deadly force.

    IMHO in one way it is better -- because of the "either inside his residence or anywhere else he can legally be."

    OTOH, the bill's wording requiring ''proportionate force", which puts far too much ''Monday Morning Quarterbacking'' into the equation, IMHO.

    I would predict that what tidewater courts think is ''proportionate force" v. what we here in SWVA think is ''proportionate force" in a given situation would create too many problems statewide.

    Also, the "unless he withdraws from physical contact" could open a can of worms, if your attacker turns as you fire.

    As always, YMMV.

    HOUSE BILL NO. 854
    Offered January 13, 2010
    Prefiled January 13, 2010
    A BILL to amend the Code of Virginia by adding a section numbered 18.2-91.1, relating to self defense and defense of others.
    ----------

    Patrons-- Morefield, Anderson, Bell, Richard P., Cline, Crockett-Stark, Edmunds, Greason, Kilgore, Merricks, Pollard and Wright; Senator: Puckett

    ----------
    Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
    ----------
    Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

    1. That the Code of Virginia is amended by adding a section numbered 18.2-91.1 as follows:

    § 18.2-91.1. Use of physical force, including deadly force, against an intruder; justified self-defense.

    A. A lawful occupant of a residence is justified in using reasonable and proportionate force, including deadly force, against an intruder or attacker to prevent a forcible entry into the residence or to terminate the intruder's or attacker's unlawful entry if the occupant reasonably apprehends that the intruder or attacker may kill or inflict serious bodily harm upon the occupant or others in the residence or if the occupant reasonably believes that the intruder or attacker intends to commit a felony in the residence and the occupant reasonably believes deadly force is necessary.

    B. A lawful occupant within a residence does not have a duty to retreat from an intruder or attacker in the circumstances described in subsection A.

    C. A person not engaged in unlawful activity who is attacked in any place he has a legal right to be outside of his residence may use reasonable and proportionate force, including deadly force, against an intruder or attacker, without a duty to retreat, if the person reasonably believes that he or another is in imminent danger of death or serious bodily harm from which he or another can only be saved by the use of such force against the intruder or attacker.

    D. The justified use of reasonable and proportionate force under this section shall constitute a full and complete defense to any civil action brought by an intruder or attacker against a person using such force. The defense to a civil action, however, is not available to a person who:

    1. Is attempting to commit, committing, or escaping from the commission of a felony;

    2. Initially provokes the use of force against himself or another with the intent to use such provoked force as an excuse to inflict bodily harm upon the assailant; or

    3. Otherwise initially provokes the use of force against himself or another, unless he withdraws from physical contact with the assailant and indicates clearly to the assailant that he desires to withdraw and terminate the use of force, but the assailant continues or resumes the use of force.

    E. The provisions of this section do not apply to the creation of a hazardous or dangerous condition on or in any real or personal property designed to prevent criminal conduct or cause injury to a person engaging in criminal conduct.

    F. Nothing in this section shall authorize or justify a person to resist or obstruct a law-enforcement officer acting in the course of his duty.
    OTOH

    HOUSE BILL NO. 251
    Offered January 13, 2010
    Prefiled January 11, 2010
    A BILL to amend the Code of Virginia by adding a section numbered 18.2-91.1, relating to self-defense and defense of others.
    ----------
    Patrons-- Merricks and Marshall, D.W.
    ----------
    Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
    ----------
    Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

    1. That the Code of Virginia is amended by adding a section numbered 18.2-91.1 as follows:

    § 18.2-91.1. Use of physical force, including deadly force, against an intruder; justified self- defense.

    Any person who lawfully occupies a dwelling is justified in using any degree of physical force, including deadly physical force, against another person when the other person has unlawfully entered the dwelling, having committed an overt act toward the occupant or another person in the dwelling, and the occupant reasonably believes he or another person in the dwelling is in imminent danger of bodily injury.

    Any occupant of a dwelling using physical force, including deadly physical force, as provided in this section shall be immune from civil liability for injuries or death of the other person who has unlawfully entered the dwelling that results from the use of such force.
    Is a good deal cleaner, IMHO.
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    Veni, Vidi, Velcro

  4. #4
    VIP Member Array varob's Avatar
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    After reading them both, I would like 854 to have the "any degree of physical force" as opposed to "reasonable and proportionate force".

    Is there any indication on which one has the most support?
    Don't believe what you hear and only half of what you see!
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  5. #5
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    Thumbs up One more step closer

    The Criminal Law sub of House Courts just voted, 4-2, on HB854 -- i.e., Morefield's version of the Castle Doctrine.

    As reported earlier HB251, Merrick's Self-Defense bill was already rolled into HB854.

    The motion was to conform the current bill to "the bill we engrossed in 2008."

    If my research is right that would be HB710. see: http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp...ful+HB710E+pdf.

    Keep those letters, calls & emails coming, folks.
    Μολὼν λαβέ

    I'm just one root in a grassroots organization. No one should assume that I speak for the VCDL.

    I am neither an attorney-at-law nor I do play one on television or on the internet. No one should assumes my opinion is legal advice.

    Veni, Vidi, Velcro

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