Everything to Know About Louisiana’s Stand Your Ground Law
The U.S. Supreme Court has consistently held that deadly force is justified in resisting the forcible entry of an occupied home. However, the law doesn’t warrant a murder charge for the death of someone who attempts to force their way into a house. In the state of Louisiana, this is where the “Stand Your Ground” laws come into play.
In the state of Louisiana, an individual who is attacked in his own home is allowed to use “reasonable” force to prevent the intruder from entering the house. Whether or not the intruder is armed, the resident or occupant can use “reasonable” force to prevent entry. There’s also a provision in the law stating that using force is allowed to prevent a perpetrator from escaping.
In this article, we’ll shed light on the matter of Louisiana’s Stand Your Ground laws. Read on below to get started.
What Does the “Stand Your Ground” Laws Say?
According to the law, any person who unlawfully enters a residence with the intent to commit an aggravated crime, and in the process assaults, kidnaps, or attempts to kidnap a person, is subject to the use of force. A person can use deadly force to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.
It’s essential to keep in mind that deadly force is not authorized if the intruder runs away or is leaving the premises. Deadly force is only justified if the intruder attempts to commit a forcible felony.
Factors to Justifying the Use of Force
Several factors are taken into account when determining whether the use of force is justified. Factors that are considered include:
- The nature of the force used to prevent the commission of a forcible felony
- The location of the force used
- The ability of the perpetrator to carry out the forcible felony
- The perpetrator’s possible motives
It is important to remember that using force to prevent the commission of a forcible felony is not justified if the intruder simply leaves the premises. If the intruder is not in the process of attempting to commit a forcible felony, the use of deadly force is not justified. Also, if the intruder is not armed, lethal force is not warranted.
Finally, it’s vital to keep in mind that the use of force is only justified if there is an unlawful entry. The law does not allow a person to use force to prevent a person from “retreating peaceably.” It’s also worth noting that the use of reasonable force to prevent the forcible commission of a felony is not permitted in private dwellings if it’s being used to prevent the commission of a misdemeanor.
The Role of Reasonable Belief
When determining the justification of using force to prevent the forcible commission of a forcible felony, the court must consider the reasonable belief of the force used by the person. It’s important to note that the court is also allowed to consider the person’s ability to make an accurate assessment of the situation.
Suppose the person’s ability to assess the situation accurately was impaired due to mental disease or defect. In that case, the court can decide whether or not the person was justified in using force to prevent the forcible commission of a forcible felony.
Assumptions of reasonable belief include:
- The person was present at the time of the crime
- The person knew the intruder had unlawfully entered the home
- The intruder appeared to be armed with a deadly weapon
- The intruder was attempting to commit a forcible felony
- The intruder had made previous threats against the resident or occupant of the home
- The intruder had assaulted the resident or occupant of the home
Using the Stand Your Ground Laws Responsibly
It’s important to remember that while you have the right to use force to prevent a forcible felony, you do not have the right to use force to prevent non-existent forcible felonies. It is also important to remember that you do not have the right to use force to prevent the commission of a forcible felony in a public place. You also need to keep in mind that you cannot use deadly force unless your attacker is aggressive, and you must have a reasonable belief that you are in imminent danger of death or significant injury.
Let the Law Office of Chris Stahl handle your criminal defense case
As you can see, the Stand Your Ground Laws can be used to protect you and your loved ones in case of an intruder. While in most cases it is highly recommended to call the police, in certain situations, you have the right to protect yourself and your family from harm.
If you’re looking for a criminal defense attorney in Bossier City, the Law Office of Christopher M. Stahl is the one for you! Our team of experienced legal professionals also specializes in other areas such as family and personal injury laws. Contact us today for a consultation!
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