If you’re a business owner or homeowner in New York, chances are you know you have the right to protect yourself and your property in the event of a threat. There are laws in place designed to protect victims of violent crimes and the extent to which they may legally defend themselves from attacks by others. Unfortunately, self-defense claims can quickly be turned into assault or manslaughter charges. If you were forced to resort to using physical violence to defend yourself from someone else’s aggression, it’s in your best interest to contact our proficient Nassau County Criminal Defense Attorneys, who can help protect your rights.
What is self-defense?
While you’ve likely heard the term “self-defense” before, you may not know when you can use it to protect yourself according to New York laws. Self-defense is the use of force to protect oneself, their family, or their property from the threat of an aggressor. It usually applies to anyone facing an imminent danger of serious bodily injury by another. All states have adopted self-defense laws that stipulate when an individual is legally permitted to use lethal force against an unlawful intruder in their home.
What’s the difference between “stand your ground” laws and the Castle Doctrine?
While New York is not a “stand your ground” state, defendants can argue that the Castle Doctrine protects their actions under self-defense. The Castle Doctrine is a self-defense justification for using deadly or reasonable force against an intruder in an individual’s home. Under common law, a man’s home is perceived as his castle, meaning he has the right to defend it if they reasonably believe that someone is attempting to enter without permission and is seeking to commit a crime.
Generally, an individual has a “duty to retreat,” meaning when confronted with a threat of physical harm from another, the intended victim must reasonably attempt to mitigate damage by fleeing. The intended victim can legally act in self-defense if these actions are impossible. The Castle Doctrine provides an exception to the duty to retreat before using deadly force if a party is in their home. This is because an individual is not expected to retreat when their safety is threatened inside their home. On the other hand, stand-your-ground laws in other states allow people under certain circumstances to use force to defend themselves without first attempting to retreat from the danger. Stand your ground laws permit one to protect themselves wherever they face a threat, not just in their home.
If you’re facing criminal charges related to self-defense, please don’t hesitate to contact a determined attorney from the legal team at Grunwald & Seman, P.C., who can help defend your rights and interests.