Skip to comments.Castle Doctrine - Washington state
Posted on 05/31/2009 6:28:07 PM PDT by djf
In view of the latest info on the pharmacist shooting, I think it is important for each of us to know what our individual states say about self defense.
I would recommend that FReepers from each state post a "Castle Doctrine - Yourownstate" thread so that their fellow FReepers and lurkers know what their status is.
Washington state has no specific Castle Doctrine. But neither is there a "duty to retreat" statute either.
Here is the RCW:
RCW 9A.16.050Homicide By other person When justifiable. Homicide is also justifiable when committed either:
(1) In the lawful defense of the slayer, or his or her husband, wife, parent, child, brother, or sister, or of any other person in his presence or company, when there is reasonable ground to apprehend a design on the part of the person slain to commit a felony or to do some great personal injury to the slayer or to any such person, and there is imminent danger of such design being accomplished; or (2) In the actual resistance of an attempt to commit a felony upon the slayer, in his presence, or upon or in a dwelling, or other place of abode, in which he is.
In addition, case law in Washington has stated:
It is lawful for a person who is in a place where that person has a right to be and who has reasonable grounds for believing that he is being attacked to stand his ground and defend against such attack by use of lawful force. The law does not impose a duty to retreat.
State v. Prado, Washington Court of Appeals
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Florida “castle doctrine” involves three separate laws.
First, you can use deadly force if you “. . .reasonably believe that such force is necessary to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony against you or another person, or prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to yourself or another.”
Second, this doctrine now applies anywhere you have a right to be. This is the “Stand Your Ground” law. You are under no obligation to retreat if someone attacks you out in the street, in a store, your car, etc.
Third, if a person breaks into your home, the law asserts an automatic fear of imminent death or great bodily injury. There are exceptions for police officers who have identified themselves and others who have a right or legal duty to be there. Your car is included in this law, so you can automatically use deadly force against a carjacker.
Florida Firearms Laws, Use & Ownership, Sixth Edition
Jon H. Gutmacher, Esq.
S.B. 378 amends Section 9.01, Penal Code, by adding definitions for “habitation” and “vehicle” to the chapter.
S.B. 378 amends Sections 9.31 and 9.32 of the Penal Code to provide a presumption of reasonableness that a person believed the use of force or deadly force was immediately necessary if all of the following criteria are met:
- If the person knew or reasonably believed that the person against whom force or deadly force was used:
- unlawfully and forcefully entered or was attempting to unlawfully and forcefully enter the occupied habitation, vehicle, or place of business or employment of the person who used the force or deadly force;
- unlawfully and forcefully removed or was attempting to unlawfully and forcefully remove the person from any of these locations; or
- was committing or attempting to commit aggravated kidnapping, murder, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, robbery or aggravated robbery;
- If the person did not provoke the person against whom the force was used; and
- If the person was not engaged in criminal activities other than a Class C misdemeanor that is a violation of a law or ordinance regulating traffic at the time force or deadly force was used.
S.B. 378 amends Sections 9.31 and 9.32 of the Penal Code to explicitly state that a person has no duty to retreat before using force or deadly force authorized by Sections 9.31 or 9.32, Penal Code, if the person has a right to be present at the location where the force or deadly force is used, if the person has not provoked the person against whom force or deadly force is used, and the person using force or deadly force is not engaged in criminal activity at the time the force or deadly force is used. The fact that the person did or did not retreat before using force or deadly force cannot be considered by a finder of fact in determining whether he or she reasonably believed the use of force or deadly force was necessary for purposes of Sections 9.31(a) or 9.32(a)(2), as applicable.
Section 83.001, Civil Practice and Remedies Code, is also amended to create an immunity from civil liability for personal injury or death if the defendant was justified in using force or deadly force under Chapter 9 of the Penal Code. S.B. 378 changes the heading of this section to “Civil Immunity,” and deletes existing text relating to an affirmative defense to civil action arising from the use of justifiable deadly force.
S.B. 378 provides that the changes in law made by this Act to Section 9.31 and Section 9.32, Penal Code, apply only to an offense committed on or after the effective date of this Act. An offense committed before the effective date of this Act is covered by the law in effect when the offense was committed, and the former law is continued in effect for this purpose. An offense is committed before the effective date of this Act if any element of the offense occurs before the effective date.
S.B. 378 further provides that the changes in law made by this Act to Section 83.001, Civil Practice and Remedies Code, apply only to a cause of action that accrues on or after the effective date of this Act. An action that accrued before the effective date of this Act is governed by law in effect at the time the action accrued, and that law is continued in effect for that purpose.
September 1, 2007.
Start a “Castle Doctrine - Florida” thread!
Ditto! Start a “Castle Doctrine - Texas” thread.
As we were checking on the premises, vehicles & shop, I was wondering where we stood with the ever changing rules in this state.
Interesting that here it recognizes, but DOES NOT REQUIRE, the threat of bodily harm.
Simple commission of a felony, and afaik, breaking and entering is a felony here.
Nevertheless, I would recommend to all Wash FReepers that they do all due diligence and not jump the gun.
But we have to realize something. If the economy goes further downhill, crime of all types will rise.
An interesting side note for those in Texas....
When I was taking the CHL class here in Texas I asked about the Castle Doctrine and carrying a concealed handgun in a vehicle. Although the Castle doctrine should permit this, it was stated by the instructor that police in Dallas and Houston would at their discretion often (detain/harass) people with handguns in the car despite the Castle Doctrine and state law.
If you are ever involved in a shooting andhave to go before the grand jury, it helps your credibility if you’ve gone through the CHL process.
“But we have to realize something. If the economy goes further downhill, crime of all types will rise.”
I recomend the Armed Citizens Defense League hosted by the Firearms Academy of Seattle.
Gun owner trained lawyers.
Misread the line in the OP.
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