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You have likely heard enough examples of people citing self-defense as a justification for using force against another that such a claim is often met with cynicism. Yet your opinion can quickly change when you are placed in a situation where you are compelled to defend yourself and those that you love. Many have come to us here at the Luibrand Law Firm, PLLC when facing potential criminal charges after having to defend themselves questioning when using force might actually be justified. If you have the same question, then know that the answer comes from understanding a legal principle known as the castle doctrine.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, the castle doctrine expounds on the age-old adage that a person’s home is their castle. As such, you are justified to defend yourself and your loved ones when one is attempting to gain unlawful entry into your home. This differs from another legal philosophy known as “stand your ground,” which states that you are permitted to stand your ground against another when you feel threatened.

New York subscribes to the castle doctrine, yet not to stand your ground. The distinction between the two lies in the assignment of the duty to retreat. Say that you are faced with a potential altercation in a public place. The law requires that you do all that you can to try and retreat from the situation before the use of force in self-defense is justified. If the potential for an altercation presents itself while you are in your home, the castle doctrine does not assign you the duty to retreat.

You can learn more about defending yourself from potential criminal charges by continuing to explore our site.