Monday, November 15, 2010
Ohio's Castle Doctrine - Is it Working?
Remember Ohio's "Castle Doctrine?" It essentially provides that one does not need to justify injuring or killing another if it is done in one's home to protect oneself. Under somewhat newly enacted Ohio Revised Code Section 2901.05(B)(1), a person is presumed to have acted in self-defense when attempting to expel or expelling another from their home who is unlawfully present. Further, under the Castle Doctrine, a person attempting to expel or expelling another is allowed to use deadly force or force great enough to cause serious bodily harm. There is also no duty to retreat inside one's home anymore. One Cuyahoga Court of Appeals opinion has addressed this doctrine and found that it did NOT apply in one case - because the victim had previous been invited to the defendant's home (and had on one occassion spent the night). One news oaganization recently addressed some of the criticisms of the new law. We will have to monitor more decisions in the future to see how this law develops.