Does Washington State Have a Self Defense Law?
Is it legal for a person to protect themselves from harm in Washington State with lethal force? We find out here.
In Washington State you do not have a duty to retreat first if you have to defend yourself from harm. UnderRCW 9A.16.050, it states that a person has the common law right to resist unlawful arrest with the use of deadly force including killing a police office in self defense if their live is threatened.
As long as you are anywhere you legally have the right to be and are not engaged in unlawful activity you can employ deadly force to protect yourself, your spouse, family member or someone in your company, when you reasonably believe you or another is facing imminent death or great personal injury.
However, while there is no state law that specifies a person has no duty to retreat, a state Supreme Court has ruled affirming that a person has the right to defend themselves wherever they legally have the right to be.
It’s important to note, as well, that under RCW 9A.16.050 it is perfectly justifiable in the eyes of the law to slay a person who has committed a felony by illegally entering your home with the intention to commit more felonies.
Knowing what you are entitled to means you have a better understanding at what you can do legally meaning that you won’t have to worry about the repercussions should you find yourself having to defend yourself from unwanted harm.