Generally speaking, the Castle Doctrine provides that “someone in their home, business or motor vehicle has no duty to retreat from an attack or intruder, and presumes the use of force is reasonable to prevent death or serious harm.” Wisconsin is among a handful of states with a Castle Doctrine Law that affords the presumption of immunity in civil and criminal actions to individuals who use deadly force in self-defense against persons unlawfully or forcibly entering a home, business or motor vehicle, and, goes further to protect those who use force by prohibiting any consideration of whether the person that acted in self-defense had the opportunity to flee of retreat before using such force.
Although the possessor of real property owes no duty of care to a trespasser and are within their legal rights to defend themselves against imminent danger, home owners who use force against an intruder often come under fire in a debate over whether the force used in self-defense was appropriate for the situation. In Wisconsin, the person who uses force in self-defense ‘enjoys the presumption’ that he or she reasonably believed that the force was necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm when actual or imminent unlawful interference with the defendant’s person exists and the amount of force used or threatened was necessary to terminate the interference.
Although the law is generally on the side of someone acting in self-defense in their dwelling, business, or vehicle, there are some exceptions worth noting. If for example, the homeowner, business owner or an owner of a motor vehicle was engaged in a criminal activity or was using one of the three locales to further criminal activity and uses force against an intruder, the Castle Doctrine may not provide immunity if someone gets hurt. Additionally, people at home, in their business, or in their vehicles may not act against a public safety worker attempting to enter or entering their home, business, or vehicle in the performance of their duties if they know or should have reasonably known that was the case.
Recent incidences come to mind when thinking about these exceptions, with one case involving a no knock warrant where public safety officers allegedly entered a dwelling without first announcing themselves resulting in an exchange of gunfire and, another case closer to home involving a home intruder appealing his murder conviction claiming he acted in self-defense when confronted by a home owner who was presumably engaged in a crime. Of course, there are a number cases playing out across the country now involving trespassing turned violent, bringing the Castle Doctrine and the right to self defense into sharp focus.
Wisconsin Castle Doctrine Self Defense Lawyer
Contact an Experienced Self Defense Attorney for Help
There are potential gray areas when acting in self-defense under the castle doctrine and, not surprisingly, there are many incidences where someone faces legal consequences for what they assumed was their right to defend themselves. If you are facing assault, battery, or manslaughter or homicide charges after acting in self-defense, it is important to secure an experienced violent crimes attorney immediately. Contact the Waukesha Wisconsin law offices of Andrew C. Ladd LLC for help at 262-542-3900.