The Castle Doctrine

The old saying “a man’s home is his castle” is in some ways validated by the laws that allow individuals to protect themselves and their homes known as the Castle Doctrine. Although the laws vary from state to state, most provide individuals with the right to use force to protect their property in the event of intrusion or trespass.

Each state may have different laws regarding the level of force that may be used against an intruder, and it is important to learn and understand the rules set in place by your specific state. When it comes to property laws and criminal trespass, you may wish to have an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side if you are wrongly charged with a crime. For more information, contact the Milwaukee criminal defense lawyers of Hart Powell, S.C. at (414) 271-9595.

Conditions of the Castle Doctrine

In some states, the Castle Doctrine includes conditions such as:

  • There must be proof of forced-entry into the home or property
  • The intruder must have acted in an unlawful manner
  • The occupants of the home should have had reason to believe they were in danger
  • It should be proven that the intruder entered the property with criminal intent (usually for burglary or arson)
  • The property owner should not have provoked an attack or intrusion
  • The occupants have what is known as a “duty to retreat” and should make efforts to leave the home

It is important to note that the Castle Doctrine does not apply to law enforcement officers who are performing the duties of their jobs. Property owners cannot exercise force to defend against officers acting in a legal capacity.

Contact Us

If you or someone you love has been charged with a crime, contact the Milwaukee criminal lawyers of Hart Powell, S.C. at (414) 271-9595.

Written by Michael Hart & Craig Powell

Last Updated : January 14, 2016