Ohio's Use of Deadly force in and around the home??


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Black92LX
May 23, 2005, 04:59 PM
I have reason to believe that someone was trying to kick in the backdoor to my garage lastnight. the garage shares a wall with the house but there entry to the house cannont be gained through the garage. i am just curious as to my rights in protecting my humble abode against the evil doers.

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Henry Bowman
May 23, 2005, 05:36 PM
Ohio does not have a strong "castle doctrine." It all comes down to reasonable belief of threat (the threshold of which may be lowered if you are in an obviously occupied dwelling). Still, you can't just blow away even a real bad guy just because it's your home. Whether a duty to retreat is mandated by law, it is often mandated by good reasoning. Ask yourself: "Can I make myself and those I owe a duty to protect safe while calling for LEOs without putting myself at greater risk?" The answer may vary depending on the circumstances. (How's that for a lawyer answer?) But confronting an unknown BG will always hold the potential for great danger.

Sindawe
May 23, 2005, 05:45 PM
Ohio does not have a strong "castle doctrine." It all comes down to reasonable belief of threat (the threshold of which may be lowered if you are in an obviously occupied dwelling). One of the reasons that I'm glad (now) that the feds transferred my family to Colorado in the mid 1970s.

Black92LX
May 23, 2005, 05:47 PM
that's what i figured.
just a little bothersome thinking that someone was trying to get in the garage. lets hope they don't get any ideas to try to come inthe house another night.

centac
May 23, 2005, 05:52 PM
You may want to go to the Ohio Attorney General's website where I believe you can download a pdf of the Ohio CCW book. It should be able to answer your questions about the justifications for the use of force. Nothing like getting it straight from the horse's as, er, mouth.

Black92LX
May 23, 2005, 05:53 PM
read that just wasn't sure if there was something different for your home.

Invisible Swordsman
May 23, 2005, 08:25 PM
Ohio does not not have any statutes (written law) that governs when you can use deadly force. There is only a definition of deadly force.

Standing Wolf
May 23, 2005, 09:15 PM
Ohio does not not have any statutes (written law) that governs when you can use deadly force. There is only a definition of deadly force.

Yeah, but if you're in your car, your firearm has to be visible to the State Police.

See? You knew reason would prevail eventually.

WT
May 23, 2005, 09:19 PM
Did you report the attempted breakin to police?

Michael Courtney
May 24, 2005, 12:06 PM
If children are present in the home then Ohio's reasonable man doctrine isn't very different in practice from a castle doctrine. If there is a home intruder, the idea that a parent can easily round up multiple children and flee is absurd, and there is a significant disparity of force between an able-bodied adult intruder and most children. Ohio's reasonable man doctrine and self-defense law is absolutely explicit that an adult can use deadly force to protect family members from a reasonable fear of great bodily harm.

Now, in principle, an able bodied adult male who is home alone has a higher burden, but in practice, Ohio prosecutors and juries do tend to give a homeowner the benefit of the doubt when a felony break-in has occurred. Your mileage may vary in a specific jurisdiction, but you'll be hard pressed to find an Ohio homeowner or resident convicted in a case where they claim self-defense if the following conditions are present:
1) Forced entry while resident at home
2) Resident has no felony convictions
3) Resident has no past history with attacker
4) Police do not discover drugs in the home while investigating

Michael Courtney

Black92LX
May 24, 2005, 01:44 PM
Did you report the attempted breakin to police?
nope.

i awoke around 3am to three loud thuds in my back courtyard. Sounded much like slamming car doors. yet there is no place for a car to be and still have door slams to be audible from where the noise originated. i quickly hopped up turned on the light in my room (which would be evident from outside) ran to look out the window but saw nothing. the light in my back courtyard was on (it is motion activated) but i get coons quite often because the squierrels like to drop lots of seeds on the ground from the bird feeders. so the light is on quite frequently.
the only thing that i think sound really could have been was the kicking of the back door to my garage. if it were to my backdoor i would have felt that in the house.
so i did not report it as really all it was was a bump in the night. i figure if it happens again i won't turn on the light in my room but the light in the back would be enough to allow me to see. there were some scuff on the garage door that i noticed but they could have been there all along and just never paid attention because who really takes a close look at the lower portion of a door.

OH25shooter
May 25, 2005, 09:06 AM
Ohio and deadly force...better be in your occupied residence ONLY. Not the garage, shed, patio, car, tent, trailer, etc. Beware, attorney's are lerking and slimming just to take you to the cleaners, if you screw up.

KnightHawk67
May 25, 2005, 12:12 PM
Although, if you just happen to go into the garage & there is an intruder in there who happens to have a weapon, you can defend yourself.

CAS700850
May 25, 2005, 03:05 PM
Okay folks, here's the deal on Ohio's self-defense law. In Ohio, self-defense is an affirmative defense. In other words, it is something the defender must prove at trial (or beforehand, if you're a lucky person and the prosecutor is good). To prevail on a self-defense claim, the defender must prove that (1) the defender was not at fault in creating the violent situation, (2) the defender had a bona fide belief that he/she was in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm and that only means of escape was the use fo deadly force, and (3) that the defender did not violate any duty to retreat or avoid the danger. State v. Robbins (1979) 58 Ohio St.2d 74. If a person in good faith and upon reasonable grouind believes that a family member is in imminent danger of death or serious bodily harm, such person may use reasonably necessary force to defend the family member to the same extent as the person would be entitled to use force in self-defense. State v. Williford (1990) 49 Ohio St.3d 247. While there is a duty to retreat when there is a reasonable means of retreat available to escape the confrontation, there is no duty to retreat from one's home. Williford. Deadly force may not be used to protect mere property. (Can't find the case right now).

So, what does this mean? IN your home, in reasonable fear for your life and/or the life of a family member, you'll probably prevail on a self-defense claim. Go looking outside the home for the source of a noise, you're defense will get weaker, but you'll probably prevail. However, since this is an affirmative defense, you'll basically be admitting guilt, but arguing that there is a legal excuse or justirfication for your actions. You need either the prosecutor or the jury to agree with you to prevail in the long run.

And let's not even get started on the civil case that will come...

Henry Bowman
May 25, 2005, 04:00 PM
there is no duty to retreat from one's home. The key word is from. This is why I say that the castle doctrine in Ohio is there, but weak. You may still have a duty to retreat within your home, if you can.

So much depends on the attitude of the prosecutor and jury pool. This varies drasticly up and down the state of Ohio and may be affected by other circumstances surrounding the act (other crime being committed by one or the other, statements made by either party, spin given by the press,...).

As to civil liability, I have yet to be shown that it varies significantly from criminal culpability. And by the time you're convicted, most people are broke.

CAS700850
May 26, 2005, 10:34 AM
Henry makes a good point about the attitude of the prosecutor and the jury pool being key. In some parts of Ohio, you can probably count on being indicted if you use a gun. Period. In other parts, especially the more rural areas, either the prosecutor or teh grand jury will no-bill a good shoot.

OH25shooter
May 26, 2005, 01:25 PM
In some parts of Ohio, you can probably count on being indicted if you use a gun. Period. In other parts, especially the more rural areas, either the prosecutor or teh grand jury will no-bill a good shoot.
You and I both know a good prosecutor or detective can point a grand jury into any direction. Which is good for self defense shootings.

mjb
May 26, 2005, 04:42 PM
section 4749.10 Ohio Revised Code
You have to use reasonable means necessary and logical means necessary
You can use deadly force to protect yourself or someone else
There are four elements that have to be in place BEFORE you use deadly force:
The attacker has to have the INTENT to harm you
The attacker has to have the ABILITY to harm you
The attacker has to have the REASONABLE OPPORTUNITY to harm you
You have to be in JEOPARDY of the attackers actions

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