You may have heard the legislature proposing the “Stand Your Ground” laws and the “Castle” laws. We often hear citizens speak about using deadly force to protect their property. These laws do not allow a person to use deadly force to protect property. It is against the law to use deadly force to stop a person from stealing or damaging property. The person who decides to use deadly force has to be the victim of an aggravated assault or battery where they have a well-founded fear that the suspect will use deadly force on them.
The Castle law states the victim does not have to retreat from their residence or work place before defending themselves with deadly force. The Stand Your Ground laws are similar but refer to when you are in public places. In a public place you do not need to retreat before using deadly force to defend yourself.
When considering either of these laws, it is important to note that a victim must be in fear for their life before they use deadly force. The fear must be something they believe is imminent and the suspect has the means to carry out the threat at the time that the victim uses deadly force.
The Idaho State Law in reference to the Castle Law and Stand Your Ground states the following:
18-4009. Justifiable homicide by any person.
(1) Homicide is justifiable when committed by any person in any of the following cases:
(a) When resisting any attempt to murder any person, or to commit a felony, or to do some great bodily injury upon any person;
(b) When committed in defense of habitation, a place of business or employment, occupied vehicle, property or person, against one who manifestly intends or endeavors, by violence or surprise, to commit a felony, or against one who manifestly intends and endeavors, in a violent, riotous or tumultuous manner, to enter the habitation, place of business or employment or occupied vehicle of another for the purpose of offering violence to any person therein;
(c) When committed in the lawful defense of such person, or of a wife or husband, parent, child, master, mistress or servant of such person, when there is reasonable ground to apprehend a design to commit a felony or to do some great bodily injury, and imminent danger of such design being accomplished; but such person, or the person in whose behalf the defense was made, if he was the assailant or engaged in mortal combat, must really and in good faith have endeavored to decline any further struggle before the homicide was committed; or
(d) When necessarily committed in attempting, by lawful ways and means, to apprehend any person for any felony committed, or in lawfully suppressing any riot, or in lawfully keeping and preserving the peace.
(2) For purposes of subsection (1)(b) of this section, a person who unlawfully and by force or by stealth enters or attempts to enter a habitation, place of business or employment or occupied vehicle is presumed to be doing so with the intent to commit a felony.
(3) For purposes of this section:
(a) "Habitation" means any building, inhabitable structure or conveyance of any kind, whether the building, inhabitable structure or conveyance is temporary or permanent, mobile or immobile, including a tent, and is designed to be occupied by people lodging therein at night, and includes a dwelling in which a person resides either temporarily or permanently or is visiting as an invited guest, and includes the curtilage of any such dwelling.
(b) "Place of business or employment" means a commercial enterprise or establishment owned by a person as all or part of the person’s livelihood or is under the owner’s control or under control of an employee or agent of the owner with responsibility for protecting persons and property and shall include the interior and exterior premises of the place of business or employment.
(c) "Vehicle" means any motorized vehicle that is self-propelled and designed for use on public highways to transport people or property.
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