When Can Someone Claim Self-Defense Under Pennsylvania’s Stand Your Ground Law?
Pennsylvania’s stand your ground law allows someone to use deadly force to defend themselves if they reasonably believe that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or serious bodily injury. If a person claims self-defense and the aggressor was unarmed, you must be able to show that an ordinary person would have felt in danger of death or serious bodily injury. However, there are certain circumstances when a person may claim self-defense under Pennsylvania’s stand your ground law even if the aggressor was armed. In this post, you will learn circumstances where someone can claim self-defense under Pennsylvania’s Stand Your Ground law.
Intentional Harm to Person or Property
The stand your ground law applies if you intentionally harm a person or property. To support your claim of self-defense in this situation, you need to establish that you were in fear of imminent attack and that the only way to stop the threat was by using force. If you were attacked by someone who intended to kill you and then killed themself. As a result, you would not be able to rely on the stand your ground doctrine. To meet this first part of the test, you should present your evidence to the criminal law attorneys in Philadelphia that the person causing you harm intended for the harm. Evidence that the person intended to harm you could be a message they conveyed using their words or actions before they attacked. For example, if someone picked up a baseball bat and began to swing at you, the intent would be to cause you harm.
This defense is not available if you cause the death of someone outside your home by inviting them inside to kill them. For example, if someone approached you and threatened to kill you outside your home and let them in to kill them in your house, it would not be covered under the stand your ground law.
Escape from Confinement
The law also applies if someone is escaping from confinement. The law does not define what confinement means, which may lead to future cases determining whether it means physical confinement or some other form of constraint. In cases where people have escaped from police custody or prison, they can claim self-defense under the stand your ground doctrine.
Defense of Others
The law also allows someone to defend a third person from excessive force by another. This defense is not available if the third person is not being attacked or if he is committing a crime himself. It is also unavailable when the person trying to help had criminal intent, meaning they were planning on harming someone else or using force.
If You Are Not the Initial or Main Attacker
This is known as “Retreat by Extrication.” It is legal to use deadly force against a person who is stalking, threatening, or pursuing you if you are not the attacker and there is an escape route. For example, if another person makes unwanted advances toward you and you start to scream for help, this would be an example of retreat by extrication. However, if the other person has a knife in their hand and they are trying to chase after you, this would not be considered retreat by extrication. In this circumstance the stand, your ground law allows you to use deadly force against them if necessary.
While the criminal justice system has undergone significant transformations, one of the most changes has been the expansion of self-defense laws. Under Pennsylvania’s stand your ground law, an individual may use force with no legal duty to retreat to defend themselves in their home or place they believe they have a right to be present. This law provides that individuals who are attacked cannot be convicted of a crime if they reasonably believed that their life was in danger. However, this law can cause problems when individuals are unable to tell the difference between right and wrong.