Self-Defense & Deadly Force
"What is the general state of Indiana law on self-defense? How has this changed with the adoption of the Castle Doctrine and stand-your-ground laws?"
Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. attorneys routinely handle firearms cases, including those with deadly force components. As with other aspects of firearms law, the answers to the questions vary widely based on facts, circumstances, customs, and political sway.
Our singular position is that situations where the need to exercise self-defense is foreseeable should be avoided. Where it cannot, any use of force must be reasonable and if safe retreat is possible, that is the prudent course of action. The reason for this is clear: even if not criminally actionable, the exercise of self-defense is likely to engage costly bodily injury or wrongful death litigation.
Any given person’s view on self-defense may not be how a judge or jury views the case; criminal and civil penalties are severe if the wrong judgment call is made. There is risk in this because standing one’s ground or defending his or her castle must still be reasonable.
Nevertheless, self-defense, including deadly force, may be used if reasonable to defend one’s home, curtilage or occupied motor vehicle. The other circumstances are to stop serious bodily injury or death or a forcible felony.
This noted, Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. attorneys unfortunately find great confusion and misguided thoughts about defending personal property. There is no right to use deadly force to protect personal property, standing alone from other facts.
Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. urges you to fully understand the Indiana self-defense and deadly force law and error on the side of safety and security. Human life is precious, and the hand’s of time cannot be turned back to undo a mistake of fact or law.
The attorneys at Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. are available to consult with groups or represent individuals about specific legal needs as it relates to deadly force. Our practice in firearms law spans the state and includes all the civil and criminal aspects of self-defense.