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dano7744 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A persons home is his "castle". The castle doctrine states that if a homeowner (or renter) is physically threatened or assaulted by an intruder who is trespassing on the property, or physically threatened or assaulted  by someone who is not a trespasser but perhaps even an invited guest, the homeowner has no duty to retreat. The homeowner can use any reasonable force to defend his person, other occupants, or property. A key word here is "reasonable". Say for example that you were at home and someone knocked on the door, you answered the door and the visitor said " I am going to kill you because I don't like the color of your shirt". The visitor has no weapon and did not try to assault you. You can not run into the house, retrieve a weapon and shoot him.

On the other hand, take the same scenario but now the visitor pulls out a gun and points it at you, in this situation you can run into the house, grab a weapon and shoot him.

jerkman | Student

A Castle Doctrine (also known as a Castle Law or a Defense of Habitation Law) is an American legal doctrine that arose from English Common Law that designates one's place of residence (or, in some states, any place legally occupied, such as one's car or place of work) as a place in which one ...
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castle_Doctrine

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