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Stand your ground laws have been enacted in at least 25 states across the country. These laws establish the right an individual can defend themselves or others against any threats or 

perceived threats. These laws can apply to the use of deadly force even if the individual being threatened could have safely retreated from the threatening situation. These laws apply not only to defending yourself in your own home but extends it to other locations, as well.

If you are being accused of homicide for an act that you believe was self-defense, contact a law firm immediately to meet with a homicide attorney and find out how they can help.

Many states also have castle doctrine laws, which allow an individual to use deadly force without retreating in their own homes, vehicles, or where they work. In some states, the Castle Doctrine has been amended to not only include protecting private property but protecting the location where a threat is being made, similar to stand your ground laws.  

Under the majority of these laws, there are certain factors that could determine whether or not a homicide committed by an individual was a justifiable one or not.

A person can use force against another individual when the individual using force reasonably believes that such action is directly needed to protect him or herself against the other’s use of force.

Another factor which could apply is if an actor’s belief that the force was immediately necessary is presumed reasonable if the they can prove the person on the receiving end of the force had illegally gone into the actor’s living space, vehicle, or workplace.

The homicide could also be legally justified if the person against whom the force was used was committing or trying to commit:

·       Murder

·       Aggravated kidnapping

·       Sexual assault

·       Aggravated sexual assault

·       Robbery

·       Aggravated robbery

A couple of examples in which the use of force is not justifiable against another include:

·       In response solely to verbal provocation.

·       To resist arrest or search by a peace officer.

The burden of proof is put on the defendant to show that their use of force was reasonable against another. It will ultimately be up to the trier of fact (a jury, usually) to determine whether the actor not only had the reasonable belief that “the force was immediately necessary,” but that the actor was lawfully present at the location of where the act took place.

Contact a Homicide Attorney Today

If you have been arrested or accused of a crime and believe you acted in self-defense of yourself or another, please contact an experienced criminal lawyer in Bloomington, IL as soon as possible. Homicide attorneys can provide guidance and counsel and help you navigate the legal process. They will make sure that your constitutional rights are protected, especially against often overzealous prosecutors and law enforcement. Call a law office today for a confidential consultation.

Thanks to Pioletti, Pioletti & Nichols for their insight into criminal law and self-defense involving homicide.

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