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Does Connecticut have 'stand-your-ground' laws?

So-called "stand-your-ground" laws have been in the news in recent years, particularly since the death of Trayvon Martin, In some states, these laws are cited by defendants who have injured or killed someone whom they said was threatening their them or someone else.

The term "Castle Doctrine" is another common legal concept related to stand-your-ground laws. It refers to the fact that people who are confronted in their homes are legally allowed to use reasonable and even deadly force to protect themselves, others and/or their property.

These laws vary among states, so it's essential to know what is allowed under Connecticut law. Our state has no stand-your-ground law. That means that a person is required to retreat if possible before he or she can use force against an intruder.

In fact, Connecticut is one of the states that has what is known as a "duty to retreat." That means that if you can safely get out of a situation without harming or killing someone, you are required to do so.

However, our state laws do recognize the Castle Doctrine. Although the state legislature has tried to expand the state's Castle Doctrine and enact stand-your-ground laws, so far lawmakers have not succeeded.

If you are facing criminal charges for using force against someone whom you felt was endangering yourself or others, it is essential to seek legal guidance. Every case is different, so it is important to show that you feared for your safety or that of others when you took action. An experienced Connecticut criminal defense attorney can work to help you do that.

Source: Connecticut General Assembly, "The Castle Doctrine and Stand-Your-Ground Law," Mark Randall and Hendrik DeBoer, accessed Jan. 21, 2016

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