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Determining justified uses of deadly force

| Apr 30, 2020 | Criminal Defense |

A common response offered by people in Kew Gardens who face accusations of violent crimes is that their actions were in self-defense. Such claims are often met with skepticism, yet even the most ardent skeptic must admit that there are situations where one may feel compelled to defend themselves and others.

The question then becomes which of those scenarios justifies responding with force (even deadly force). Fortunately. local laws do not leave much up to interpretation in this regard.

The Castle Doctrine

Several states have adopted a “stand your ground” stance when it comes to self-defense laws, meaning that their residents are under no legal duty to retreat from a potentially threatening situation. New York does not go so far to endorse this particular philosophy, yet it does recognize a limited form of it known as “the Castle Doctrine.” According to the Cornell Law School, the Castle Doctrine allows one to use deadly force in defense of their home and property.

Using force as a defense from force

Indeed, Section 35.15 of New York’s Penal Law states that one can use deadly in defending their home if they believe such force to be necessary to avoid the exercise of a similar degree of force against them or another member of their household. Some might argue that even when an intruder is in one’s home, a president must refrain from responding with force if there is a chance they can safely retreat from the situation. The law, however, imposed no such obligation.

The use of deadly force in defense also extends to situations where one is in a dwelling that is not their home yet is in their legal possession. One can also use deadly force in response to the perceived potential of an impending kidnapping, robbery, rape, or other forcible sexual act.


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