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Intruders and the “Castle Doctrine” in Ohio
In September of 2008, the “Castle Doctrine” took effect in Ohio. It is codified in R.C. 2901.05. This doctrine is actually an amendment to existing Ohio self-defense law. The new law reads in pertinent part:
(B)(1) Subject to division (B)(2) of this section, a person is presumed to have acted in self defense or defense of another when using defensive force that is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm to another if the person against whom the defensive force is used is in the process of unlawfully and without privilege to do so entering, or has unlawfully and without privilege to do so entered, the residence or vehicle occupied by the person using the defensive force.
The statute continues:
(2)(a) The presumption set forth in division (B)(1) of this section does not apply if the person against whom the defensive force is used has a right to be in, or is a lawful resident of, the residence or vehicle.
(b) The presumption set forth in division (B)(1) of this section does not apply if the person who uses the defensive force uses it while in a residence or vehicle and the person is unlawfully, and without privilege to be, in that residence or vehicle.
(3) The presumption set forth in division (B)(1) of this section is a rebuttable presumption and may be rebutted by a preponderance of the evidence.
Are you wondering what this covers? I mean what locations are actually intended to be covered by the statute?
As you can see, dwelling can cover even your porch or a tent; residence covers even visits as a guest; and a vehicle is defined as anything designed to carry a person or property. Clearly, lawmakers designed the statute to cover a wide range of scenarios to protect citizens who simply want to defend themselves and their families. However, there are scenarios this statute will not protect you:
The most important part of the statute, and the part which is the crux of the entire American legal system, is the definition of “reasonable doubt.” It is the highest burden of proof in any legal system in the world. The phrase is thrown around a lot on TV shows and movies. But what does it actually mean?
The Law Office of Brian Jones tells every single jury that to convict our client, you must be so convinced that you would rely upon it in the most important affairs of your life. If your finding is guilty, are you sure enough that you would rely upon it in getting married? In taking or not taking a job? If the answer is no then the jury must say Not Guilty.
If you or a loved one have been accused of shooting an intruder and the State of Ohio is trying to charge it as a crime call us. We would love to help. The Law Office of Brian Jones handles cases throughout Ohio and has two offices in Central Ohio protecting the citizens of Delaware, Marion, Columbus, Dublin, Upper Arlington, Westerville, Worthington, Whitehall, Grove City, Groveport, and beyond from government accusations.
Brian Glen Jones graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a Bachelors Degree in Politics and Government. He then went on to earn his Juris Doctorate degree from the University Of Akron School Of Law. Brian has been a lifelong resident of Ohio. Brian is licensed to practice law in the state of Ohio and before the United States District Court for the Northern and Southern Districts of Ohio.
Calling a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer before speaking to law enforcement is the best way to protect your future. Our attorneys will work to minimize or eliminate the possibility of jail time, a prison sentence, probation, hefty fines and a permanent criminal record. Call us now at 740-363-3900 to schedule your appointment with one of the firm’s knowledgeable attorneys.
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52 North Sandusky Street
Delaware, OH 43015