Is there a stand-your-ground law in California?

There seems to be many news stories about people who have defended themselves under stand-your-ground laws in the country. However, these laws are unique to each state. In California, there is no stand-your-ground law, but the state does offer an option for those who wish to defend themselves in their own homes. In addition, even without a stand-your-ground law, juries are allowed to find someone not guilty of a crime in stand-your-ground type situations.

A jury’s right to acquit

Despite California not having a stand-your-ground law, jury instructions do allow them to consider this idea when making decisions. This means that a person can defend him or herself in a threatening situation without concern of being convicted of murder. They can respond to such a situation with force if needed. So, while the law is not official, residents still have the right to self-defense.

The castle doctrine

The actual law in the state is called a castle doctrine, according to KQED. It states that a person can defend his or her home from danger. For example, if someone breaks into a person’s home, then that person can use deadly force to defend his or her home and family.

The imminent danger rule

According to CBS, the ability for a person to defend his or herself with deadly force is rooted in feeling there is imminent danger. This means a person must feel as if he or she is in a life-threatening situation with no other option but to defend his or herself, such as in the case of an assault. This threat must be immediate and not something in the future. It is the basis by which such cases are measured in court. If it cannot be proven that imminent danger was present, it could mean a person ends up convicted of a crime for using deadly force.

People are naturally inclined to protect themselves, their property and their loved ones. State law may not provide a specific stand-your-ground law, but it does commit to the general idea and allows people to protect themselves in the face of imminent danger. To learn more about the laws in this area, you may want to contact an attorney, such as Garcia, Schnayerson & Thompson.

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