Quantcast

Does "Castle Doctrine" Apply to Hotel Rooms?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by (Pb), Oct 13, 2009.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. (Pb)

    (Pb) Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2009
    Messages:
    15
    I live in Oregon, but I frequently travel to Washington, California, and Idaho, and when I'm in these places, I usually stay in motels. I usually make a habit of having a firearm nearby when I'm sleeping (at home or not), and I especially like to when I'm staying in a motel because of all the sketchy things I've seen happen around there. This got me thinking, assuming you are in a state where you have the right to defend yourself against any intruders in your own home, does this apply to a hotel room that you are renting and sleeping in?

    What are your rights against intrusion? Can you shoot someone just for kicking down the door, or do you have to prove that there is an imminent threat to your life?


    Thanks..
     
  2. DC300a

    DC300a Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2006
    Messages:
    160
    Location:
    The Real Florida
    My opinion is that the "Castle Docterine" has more to do with the protection of your body and your family and less to do with protecting your stuff and your house.
    Therefore, I would submit that you have the right to defend yourself whether you are in your castle or on the road in bivouac.
     
  3. ByAnyMeans

    ByAnyMeans Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2008
    Messages:
    790
    Location:
    Queens, NY
    Good question, I would think that if the state had a castle doctrine that did not require imminent threat to your life as a requirement then that would pass on to your motel room but I am not sure. IAMNAL and will be waiting for more legal eagles to chime in.
     
  4. kda

    kda Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2009
    Messages:
    192
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    Probably varies from state to state. Someone is welcome to correct me but I believe that here in AZ, the Castle Doctrine even extends to inside your car. And if not, at least in AZ you still have the right to defend yourself, your loved ones and your property from within your car, i.e. robbery or car hijacking, etc.
     
  5. withdrawn34

    withdrawn34 Member.

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2008
    Messages:
    529
    depends on your state. In FL, hotel/motel rooms do indeed apply.

     
  6. ChaoSS

    ChaoSS Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2009
    Messages:
    1,111
    You should research it state by state, or at least provide exactly which states you need info on.

    CA is one that you mentioned. CA does not have a castle doctrine. That being said, you have the right to carry a concealed firearm at your residence. (CA does not honor the concealed carry permits of any other state) The law specifically extends this protection to temporary residences, such as campsites, meaning that the hotel/motel is included. Again, no castle doctrine, you must be in fear of life or limb to shoot.
     
  7. mgkdrgn

    mgkdrgn Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2008
    Messages:
    3,914
    Location:
    Lexington, SC
    It is going to depend on the state. Some have -no- castle doctrine at all, and you could be required by law to attempt to escape before using deadly force.

    In some more "enlightened" states (such as South Carolina), the face that someone has entered your place of residence (and this includes your hotel room) by force is sufficient cause to be in fear of your life or serious bodily harm, and the use of deadly force to repel that threat is justified. This also applies to your car, truck, motor home, etc.

    In general, deadly force is -never- justified to protect property (Texas being the only exception I'm aware of ... there may be others), only life and limb.
     
  8. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2005
    Messages:
    23,171
    California most certainly has a castle doctrine.

    It is found here.

    CA Penal Code 198.5:
    http://law.onecle.com/california/penal/198.5.html

    Self-defense usually does require the fear of bodily injury, etc. That applies anywhere, like in the street, in a bar, whatever. Your residence is a special case. Someone breaking into your home can be assumed to intend that injury. In short, someone who breaks into your home can be shot. There's no duty to retreat inside your residence, nor do you have to do anything to further ascertain the intentions of someone who enters forcibly, before shooting.

    That's California's castle doctrine (every state that has a "castle doctrine" has a different one, so you have to look it up). "Castle doctrine" comes from the old phrase "a man's home is his castle", and it is NOT THE SAME as a "stand your ground" law.

    WRT the hotel room, here's what the CA DOJ says:
    Note that you still aren't allowed to have a loaded firearm in a campsite, if that campsite is somewhere that loaded firearms are prohibited, like State Park campgrounds.

    http://www.ag.ca.gov/firearms/

    I'm not sure what case law says about a hotel room, although there's nothing in the castle law in California that says "permanent residence." Try http://www.calguns.net
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2009
  9. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2005
    Messages:
    23,171
  10. NavyLCDR

    NavyLCDR member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2005
    Messages:
    7,691
    Location:
    Stanwood, WA
    I would think it would be pretty easy to get around the duty to retreat in some states simply because in a motel room there is no place to retreat to. The BG, if they come in through the door, is blocking the only escape route.

    My personal opinion, not based on anything other than what I would do, if someone forcibly enters a motel room I am in, they are getting shot no questions asked.

    If someone I don't know enters with a key, they will be presented with the business end of the gun at the ready while we figure out just who the heck they are.

    You'll be in big trouble just about everywhere if you shoot through the closed door.
     
  11. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2006
    Messages:
    11,717
    Location:
    Johnson City, TN
    California has partial "castle doctrine," in the sense that firearms can be used to defend oneself and there is no "duty to retreat" inside one's own residence, which includes motel/hotel rooms as well as most campsites. You can still be sued.
     
  12. Buck Nekkid

    Buck Nekkid Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
    Messages:
    392
    Location:
    Deep in The Heart of Texas
    I "live" in a motel, hopefully temporary. I believe that anyone entering my room without permission will have an up close and personal visit with my 40 S&W CZ RAMI.
     
  13. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    21,483
    Location:
    northern california
    this is America...the land of litigation...you can always be sued

    are you saying that they can't sue you in TX if you shoot someone inside your house?
     
  14. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2005
    Messages:
    23,171
    Texas has a shield law. I don't believe you can. However, that's not quite the same thing as a regular "castle doctrine" and it's not the case in most states.

    It should be the case in all states, but of all the states with a castle doctrine of sorts, I think Texas may be the only one with civil immunity like that.

    Personally, I wonder about the unintended consequences of the fear of a lawsuit, i.e. how many people might be more apt to kill a burglar if they think he'll sue them if he's wounded. When I was a kid in California years ago, that was already a running half-joke, half-serious statement I remember the adults making, "Yeah, if you have to shoot him, make sure you kill him so he can't sue." California was the West, once.
     
  15. mgkdrgn

    mgkdrgn Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2008
    Messages:
    3,914
    Location:
    Lexington, SC
    In South Carolina anyway .... IF you shoot someone you invited in, you can be sued.

    If you shoot someone that just kicked in your door to gain entry ... you can not. (unless, of course, that was the police ... but that is a whole nuther kettle of kimchee)
     
  16. Officers'Wife

    Officers'Wife Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2007
    Messages:
    3,416
    Location:
    A long way from heaven and too close to Chicago
    Castle doctrine or no. Should one of my children be threatened no doctrine, decree or government entity could prevent from stopping the threat by whatever means at hand. Should that be in a motel room and the government not approve, any government that denies it's citizens the right to defend their children has no right to exist.
     
  17. bdickens

    bdickens Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    841
    Location:
    Hockley , TX
    A hotel room is generally considered to be your residence while you are there.
     
  18. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2005
    Messages:
    23,171
    I'm going to take a wild guess that, as a woman with children to protect, you are far less likely to end up having to defend yourself in court if you shoot an intruder, than a guy by himself.

    That said, I don't think that there's a case where one could be attacked in a hotel room and not have the right to immediately use deadly force.
     
  19. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2006
    Messages:
    11,617
    Location:
    California - San Francisco Bay Area
    While the exact rules vary by state, in general, you are justified in employing lethal force only when a reasonable and prudent person, in like circumstances and knowing what you know, would conclude that lethal force is necessary to prevent otherwise unavoidable, imminent death or grave bodily injury to an innocent.

    To demonstrate that there was indeed a real danger from the assailant, one must show that the assailant had (1) the Ability, i. e., the power to deliver force sufficient to cause death or grave bodily harm; (2) the Opportunity, i. e., the assailant was capable of immediately deploying such force; and (3) put an innocent in Jeopardy, i. e., the assailant was acting in such a manner that a reasonable and prudent person would conclude that he has the intent to kill or cripple. A person claiming self defense will need to be able to articulate why in the exact situation as it unfolded he concluded that lethal force was necessary based in the forgoing paradigm.

    While details may vary slightly, subject to application of whatever passes for a particular state's castle law, if there is one, the forgoing is a pretty good general rule.
     
  20. Jim K

    Jim K Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
    Messages:
    17,848
    I think every state considers a hotel room as a residence for most purposes and you would be able to defend yourself as if you were in your home.

    But, in many states, the police will question how the gun got there. In some states, if you do not have the proper permit, you could not have transported your gun to the hotel/motel without violating the law. In that kind of case, some prosecuting attorneys will figure out a way to "get" anyone who uses a gun in self defense, and having the gun without the applicable permits is one way. Remember Goetz? Acquitted for shooting his assailants, but convicted on the illegal gun charges. Big publicity for the prosecutor for saving the citizens from the evil gun!

    Jim
     
  21. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2005
    Messages:
    23,171
    Not true. FOPA protects travelers.

    Now you COULD have violated a law by tranporting it in certain ways like loaded or concealed, but the gun can be transported legally between domiciles anywhere in the US.
     
  22. Gryffydd

    Gryffydd Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    Messages:
    1,781
    Location:
    W. Washington
    In Washington it's justified in "resistance of an attempt to commit a felony", even to the point of if you reasonably believe the person intends to commit a felony.

    Use of force
    http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=9A.16.020
    Reimbursement
    http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=9A.16.110

    Since the only limit is that this must occur in your presence, it doesn't matter if you're in your hotel room or your own home or on the street. Overall Washington has some of the "best" self defense laws I've seen. Now if we could just fix the state's issues with NFA items...
     
  23. Norinco982lover

    Norinco982lover Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Messages:
    641
    Location:
    South Central Kansas
    In Kansas, where I live, yes.

    ~Norinco
     
  24. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2005
    Messages:
    23,171
    So...

    You see someone throwing his 1040 in the shredder, and he says, "I'm not going to file this year's tax return. EVER!"

    So you ask, "Are you sure?"

    He says, "Damn straight."

    You pull out a gun and shoot him to prevent him from willfully failing to file a tax return.

    Somehow I don't think that's what the law means.:D
     
  25. HardShell

    HardShell Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2009
    Messages:
    370
    Location:
    Slapout, AL (Just as rural as it sounds...)
    I like the way it's worded in our law here in Alabama...

    "A person who is justified under subsection (a) in using physical force, including deadly physical force, and who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and is in any place where he or she has the right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground."

    :)
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice