No one ever truly anticipates having to defend themselves from a home intruder. Though you may have thought about it in passing, when you’re faced with danger in the place you should feel the safest, taking the necessary steps to protect yourself can be terrifying. It’s also important to understand the legal implications of defending yourself in your home. The following blog explores how Oklahoma handles the Castle Doctrine and why you must contact an OKC criminal defense lawyer if you’ve used force to subdue a threat in your home.
What Is the Castle Doctrine?
The Castle Doctrine is a commonly cited defense for homeowners who have used deadly force against an intruder. It’s important to understand that to use this as a defense, the homeowner must have a reasonable fear of serious bodily harm or death from the intruder. Essentially, this is justifiable homicide.
Unlike some other states, Oklahoma does not require those faced with a threat to attempt to retreat or flee to safety before they use deadly force against a threat in their own home. This is because the state believes all in their homes expect complete safety.
It is essential to note that the only time someone with reasonable fear is expected to attempt to flee is if they are a victim of domestic violence. This is because their abuser likely has a legal right to be in the home, so adding this limitation helps remedy the contradiction in the language of the law.
The Castle Doctrine was later expanded in Oklahoma to include the Make My Day Law, which extends the right to protect a home from a threat to anyone legally in the dwelling. For example, if you have a babysitter who uses deadly force against an intruder while you are away, they are not the homeowner and thus would not be protected under the Castle Doctrine. However, under Make My Day, they would be legally protected.
What Should I Do if I’ve Had to Stand My Ground?
If you have had to use deadly force against an intruder threatening your life in your home, proceeding with caution is crucial. The most important thing you must do is contact an attorney as soon as possible. This is an incredibly complex legal matter, so ensuring you have a lawyer to fight for your right to protect yourself in your own home is critical.
At the Jones Firm, PLLC, we understand how upsetting it can be to take the necessary measures to protect yourself, your family, and your home from someone with harmful intentions. We are committed to fighting for you every step of the way. Our team will examine your case to fight to prove that your actions were justified under the law to give you the chance to receive the best possible outcome for your circumstances. Contact us today to learn more.