‘Stand Your Ground’ law proposed in Ohio
How a Columbus criminal defense lawyer can help clear things up
Last year, in the wake of the Trayvon Martin case, we posted an explanation of the self defense laws in Ohio, along with an explanation of the Castle Doctrine. In short, you can only use deadly force to protect yourself from an assailant if you have first attempted to retreat, or if you are being assaulted in your home or vehicle.
However, it seems as though these laws may soon change.
The new proposed law, House Bill 203, would expand a citizen’s right to use deadly force in self defense while outside of their home, without the added stipulation of first trying to escape.
The current stipulations that allow use of deadly force in self-defense are:
- You didn’t start the fight
- You must be under the threat of death or serious bodily harm
- Use of deadly force was the only way to escape the danger
- If you can escape or retreat, you must do so
House Bill 203 will essentially eliminate item four.
Proponents of ‘stand your ground’ laws are saying that this bill will help clear up a gray area when it comes to retreating.
For instance, if a victim is attacked, flees and eventually kills their assailant, there may be extenuating circumstances that result in the victim being charged with murder. Did they flee far enough before using force? Were there any other escape avenues available? Supporters of this bill feel that victims shouldn’t have to think about whether or not they can escape, and instead be able to simply defend themselves without worrying about the consequences.
However, those who do not support the bill believe it grants people far too much freedom to kill and walk away with little to no penalty. It’s thought that having looser restrictions on the use of deadly force may lead to more murders.
What’s more, if an assailant is killed, they can never tell their side of the story, which may lead to more people using deadly force when it’s not necessary, without suffering any legal repercussions.
Contact a Columbus criminal defense lawyer
If you’ve been charged with a crime that you believe was committed in self defense, or if you have any questions about the self-defense laws in Ohio, contact one of Yavitch & Palmer’s criminal defense lawyers today. Their professional, highly rated law experts will investigate every detail of your case to see if they can get your charges reduced, or even completely thrown out.
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