Pennsylvania currently has a law known as the “Castle Doctrine.” The “Castle Doctrine” is a legal defense for those who have been charged with the various forms of assault and homicide. The “Castle Doctrine” is a type of the “Stand Your Ground” defenses that were made famous in the George Zimmerman trial.
The Castle Doctrine provides that:
An actor who is not engaged in a criminal activity, who is not in illegal possession of a firearm and who is attacked in any place where the actor would have a duty to retreat under paragraph (2)(ii) has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his ground and use force, including deadly force, if:
(i) the actor has a right to be in the place where he was attacked;
(ii) the actor believes it is immediately necessary to do so to protect himself against death, serious bodily injury, kidnapping or sexual intercourse by force or threat; and
(iii) the person against whom the force is used displays or otherwise uses:
(A) a firearm or replica of a firearm as defined in 42 Pa.C.S. § 9712 (relating to sentences for offenses committed with firearms); or
(B) any other weapon readily or apparently capable of lethal use.
It is important to realize that there are nuances and exceptions to this law. If you or your loved one has been charged for defending yourself, contact the experienced and aggressive attorneys at the Kelly Law Firm for a free consultation.