Knowing what the self defense laws in Ohio is something all Ohioans need to know and what rights they have at protecting themselves from harm.
When it comes to self defense laws nearly all states permit some use of deadly force in order for a person to protect themselves inside their home, which is based on the ‘Castle Doctrine.’ However, while some areas require a person to retreat from an attacker outside of their home, there are more and more states expanding their laws in order to increase a person’s safety and legal rights if they happen to be outside of their homes too.
Previously in Ohio, if a homeowner was subjected to an intruder inside their home they were required to retreat before using deadly force against the suspect. Not only that, but the burden of proof lay upon the defendant to prove in court that the use of deadly force in such a situation was required because he/she had acted out of fear of physical injury or death.
Now, though, the law has changed.
On September 9, 2008, Senate Bill 184 passed while Senate Bill 17 became effective on September 30, 2011. The new laws regarding self defense mean that homeowners now have more rights to protect themselves if a person entered the residence illegally.
According to the Ohio Bar Association under the new laws the Ohio’s ‘Castle Laws’ presume that the homeowner has acted in defense of another or self defense when applying deadly force to someone who has intruded into their home. However, if the homeowner was charged it would be down to the prosecution to prove that the intruder did not enter the resident’s house or vehicle with the intention to cause any sort of harm.
One thing to bear in mind is that regardless of the state, laws relating to self defense are continually changing, which is why it’s always a good idea to maintain a record of what new Bills have been passed. This way you know exactly what your rights are and who the burden of proof falls upon when it comes to the issue of self defense.
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