The “Castle Doctrine” is a law that was put in place to protect people against criminal charges when they use force to protect their home or car from unwanted intruders. However, as this article from the Columbus Dispatch reports, people aren’t too happy when the person being protected is a drug dealer or not the innocent grandmother many people had in mind when initially supporting the law.
The law is only two years old and some are saying it already needs to be changed or clarified. Even the legislator who wrote the law agrees that it should be changed if “people are bending the clear intent” of the bill.
If you are in your home and it is invaded, you are allowed to use force. This is true whether you know the person or not. If someone refuses to desist from entering your home, you can use force to defend it. This includes physical and even lethal force.
But many critics of the “Castle Doctrine”, which incidentally gets its name from the old adage “A man’s home is his castle”, state that situations like this would be protected under existing “self defense” options and that this added law was unnecessary.
Their problem with the outcome of the law is when it’s being applied to situations and people where the aggressor or castle-protector isn’t such an innocent victim. Take for instance the man who stole a dealer’s drugs and then shot the drug dealer in the head when he tried to enter the man’s car.
Critics state the law shouldn’t be a “license to commit murder” and that there must be some limits as to when and how it can be applied. As it stands, the law will likely be clarified as cases go through the appeals processes and those judges have a say in the law’s intent and how it is to be applied.
The “Castle Doctrine” isn’t the only law related to criminal charges that can be confusing and even applied differently from one courtroom to the next. When you are facing criminal charges, it doesn’t take long to see that the system is full of differing opinions and legal interpretations.
Whether you are facing charges of drug possession or theft, the way you are charged and the options you have aren’t always so cut and dry. For clarity’s sake, you need to discuss your case with a criminal defense attorney.
Contact our offices today for a consultation on your Ohio criminal charge.