Though many people have likely thought about what would happen in the event someone broke into their home, nobody can ever truly prepare for this to actually happen. However, when faced with a threat, you may have to take the necessary steps to protect yourself. As such, understanding the laws in place to help defend you in these moments is critical. The following blog explores what you must know about the Castle Doctrine in California and why you must connect with a Sacramento criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.
What Is the Castle Doctrine, and Does California Adhere to It?
The idea behind the Castle Doctrine is that a man’s home is his castle, and he has the right to defend himself if faced with a threat inside of his home. As such, if an unauthorized entity enters your home without your permission and you have a reasonable fear for your life or the safety of others, you can use deadly force if necessary to subdue the threat and prevent harm. California is one of the majority of states that adheres to this doctrine.
It’s also necessary to understand that California is a Stand Your Ground state. Essentially, this means that if someone is faced with a threat, they do not have the duty to retreat before using the required force to subdue the threat.
However, there are limitations to this. For example, you must feel reasonably threatened before using deadly force. This means that if any other reasonable adult in your situation would have also feared for their life when faced with the threat, this would warrant the use of force. Additionally, you cannot invoke the Castle Doctrine for a situation in which you were the aggressor.
What Should I Do if I’ve Had to Defend Myself?
In the event the unthinkable occurs, and you’ve had to take the necessary measures and use force to mitigate a threat against your life while inside your home, understanding how to proceed is critical to protecting yourself. The first thing you should do, if you have not done so already, is to call the police to report the incident. Additionally, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible. Though your actions are protected under the law, and you have nothing to hide, the police must investigate the event. As such, having legal representation for these matters is critical to ensure you are protected at every turn.
At the Law Offices of Dale R. Gomes, we understand how difficult these circumstances can be. No one ever wants to find themself in this situation. However, home invasions do happen, and you, under California law, have the right to protect yourself. Our legal team is ready to represent you to ensure you are protected during these matters. Contact us today to learn how we can help you through these times.