The Castle Doctrine is a bill in the state of North Carolina that is similar to the Stand Your Ground Law in Florida. Under the Castle Doctrine bill, “a person may use defensive force to protect against the unlawful and forcible entry into the person’s dwelling by another, to prevent the removal of a person against his or her will from the person’s dwelling, and to provide that a person is justified in using defensive force in these circumstances and so is immune from criminal prosecution and civil action for the use of such force” [Source: North Carolina General Assembly].
Therefore, if someone were attempting to enter your home and was threatening you with a gun and you were in fear of death or great bodily harm, you would have a justified reason to use force to protect yourself and your loved ones. If you or someone you know is currently facing a charge for committing a crime in which you believe the Castle Doctrine would protect them, it is in your best interest to contact a criminal defense attorney at William C. Gore, JR. PLLC by calling 910-317-0045.
The Gore Law Firm recently took on a murder case in which they were able to get it dismissed under the Castle Doctrine, which is rather difficult to do. The client was granted immunity from prosecution in November. Although anyone facing a criminal charge for harming another can claim they were defending themselves as this person entered their property and posed as a threat, you must be able to provide credible evidence to prove this. Trying to do this without an experienced and reputable defense attorney in North Carolina would only make it more difficult to do so.
Under what circumstances would the Castle Doctrine not apply?
While it’s important for you to understand when the Castle Doctrine would protect you from criminal prosecution given you had to use deadly force to protect yourself, there are times when this doctrine would not apply. We list these circumstances below for you:
- “The person had the right to be in or is a lawful resident of the dwelling or residence, such as an owner or lessee, and there is not an injunction for protection from domestic violence or a written pretrial supervision order of no contact against that person.”
- “The person sought to be removed from the dwelling or residence is a child or grandchild or is otherwise in the lawful custody or under the lawful guardianship of the person against whom the defensive force is used.”
- “The person who uses defensive force is engaged in, attempting to escape from, or using the dwelling or residence to further any criminal offense that involves the use or threat of physical force or violence against any individual.”
- The person against whom the defensive force is used is a law enforcement officer who enters or attempts to enter a dwelling in the lawful performance of his or her official duties, and the officer identified himself or herself in accordance with any applicable law.
- The person against whom the defensive force is used (i) has stopped all efforts to unlawfully and forcefully enter the dwelling or residence and (ii) has left the dwelling or residence.
If you would like to learn more about the Castle Doctrine and whether it would apply to your case or a case that has been brought up against a loved one, contact North Carolina criminal defense attorney Bill Gore today. If you live in the southeastern part of North Carolina and have been charged with a different crime but need legal representation, this firm would be more than happy to assist you with that as well.