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What Are the Laws in Ohio Surrounding Defense of Dwelling?

July 21, 2016 | Written by Dan Margolis

When you feel threatened in your home or automobile in Ohio, you have the right to defend yourself. However, there are some circumstances that must be present for you to be allowed to use deadly force under the defense of dwelling law.

According to CNN, there are no details that demonstrate a difference between the use of deadly force and just force in conjunction with defense of dwelling in the Ohio law. You also do not have a duty to retreat. This means that you do not have to try to leave prior to taking any type of forceful action to protect yourself and others within your property.

The law does state that this force should be “reasonably necessary.” Although this wording does leave some gray area in terms of what is reasonable. Therefore, it will probably be up to the court to interpret whether your situation applies, and up to the prosecution to prove without a doubt that there were other options in terms of defense.

When a person unlawfully enters your home or your vehicle, the law allows you to use force in order to defend yourself and others. This means that scenarios where you let a person into your home, or the person threatening you is a resident of the property, would not fall under this law. Nor does it apply if you are defending yourself when you do not have a right to be in the location.

Another important component of this law is that the situation must be one in which you had “reasonable grounds” for protecting yourself. This typically means that you must feel that your life, or someone under your care’s life, is immediately threatened. If this is the case, and your only recourse is to use some type of force to protect yourself or others in your home or vehicle, then you might be able to use defense of dwelling as your defense. This information should not be taken as legal advice, but it might help you understand the process and what to expect.

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