You were home alone and scared for your life. First, you heard a noise on your porch, and then a louder noise in another room. You got up to investigate, and then it happened. You felt someone put their hands on you. You tried to scream for help. No one came. As the hands continued to wrestle you, you pulled out your weapon and shot the intruder. They survived, but you’re now facing criminal charges.
For some South Carolina citizens, an event like this is just a hypothetical. For others, it is a reality.
Standing your ground
In South Carolina, the Protection of Persons and Property Act, which is similar to “Stand Your Ground” laws in other states, gives individuals that are engaged in legal activity the right to stand their ground and fight force with force under specific circumstances. Often referred to as the “Castle Doctrine” defense, these types of cases require a keen legal eye to review the strengths and weaknesses of your story.
In the United States, you have a right to keep guns and bear arms. Nevertheless, firing a weapon at or near another person quickly gets complicated. Even if you match force with force, there is still the potential to be accused of violent crimes and gun crimes. Here’s the bottom line: Discharging a weapon is likely to lead to an investigation that could end with you facing criminal charges.
How can you prove that the force you used was justified?
As someone defending themselves against allegations of violence or other crimes, it’s important that you build a strong defense. The law states that you can use force to prevent imminent death or great harm to yourself or others, so being able to show that you did fear for your life or the lives of others is going to be essential.
While you have no requirement to speak in court, you do have a right to wait to see what the prosecution’s case looks like. As is true for any criminal case, you have a right to test the prosecutor’s version of events and enter your own defense if you feel that it is your best opportunity for acquittal.
Call a South Carolina defense attorney today for legal support and information on how to best approach your Castle Doctrine defense.