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Violent Crimes: the Castle Doctrine

There are specific circumstances in which you are legally allowed to use deadly force. In Pennsylvania, you are granted the right to use deadly force if you believe that it is necessary to protect yourself against death, serious bodily injury, kidnapping, or sexual intercourse compelled by force or threat. Deadly force is not to be used as an immediate response, but rather as last resort. You are not authorized to use deadly force in protection to the acts previously stated if you were the initial aggressor of the situation or you are able to retreat safely in response. In Pennsylvania, you are not obligated to retreat from your home and in some circumstances your work. This is known as a Castle Doctrine.

In PA, a Castle Doctrine gives you the right to use deadly force without the duty to retreat in your own home. Other places included under a Castle Doctrine include your dwellings, your car, and your place of work, as long as it is not a situation including a co-worker. Deadly force is only authorized under a Castle Doctrine if you are not the initial aggressor. In order to be protected under PA's Castle Doctrine, it is not required for the home to be your permanent residence. For example, the hotel room you are temporarily staying at is considered your home, therefore you would not have a duty to retreat.

One of the biggest defenses to violent crimes lies in the Castle Doctrine.  ​In order for your deadly force to be lawful under a Castle Doctrine so that you are not charged with a list of violent crimes, there are several elements that must be met. It is important to remember that the use of deadly force in your home, dwelling, or car, the intruder must be someone who is not allowed to be there. It cannot be someone you invited into your home; Pa law on self-defense  it must be someone who forcefully and unlawfully entered the premises. Ultimately, there must be the presumption that deadly force was necessary in order to protect yourself or others from death, seriously bodily injury, kidnapping, or sexual intercourse compelled by force or threat.

In PA, a Castle Doctrine gives you the right to use deadly force without the duty to retreat in your own home. Other places included under a Castle Doctrine include your dwellings, your car, and your place of work, as long as it is not a situation including a co-worker. Deadly force is only authorized under a Castle Doctrine if you are not the initial aggressor. In order to be protected under PA's Castle Doctrine, it is not required for the home to be your permanent residence. For example, the hotel room you are temporarily staying at is considered your home, therefore you would not have a duty to retreat.

​In order for your deadly force to be lawful under a Castle Doctrine, there are several elements that must be met. It is important to remember that the use of deadly force in your home, dwelling, or car, the intruder must be someone who is not allowed to be there. Involuntary Manslaughter  It cannot be someone you invited into your home; it must be someone who forcefully and unlawfully entered the premises. Ultimately, there must be the presumption that deadly force was necessary in order to protect yourself or others from death, seriously bodily injury, kidnapping, or sexual intercourse compelled by force or threat.

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