Together, Our Attorneys’ Combined Strengths Make Them a Formidable Defense Team for Clients Throughout Indiana

Together, Our Attorneys’ Combined Strengths Make Them a Formidable Defense Team for Clients Throughout Indiana

3 locations where Indiana’s castle doctrine applies

On Behalf of | May 14, 2024 | Criminal Defense

Those accused of violent crimes in Indiana may have several ways to defend against those allegations. Some people can prove that they were not present during an altercation or that another party was the one who engaged in physical violence. Other people admit that they became aggressive toward another person but may insist that doing so did not break the law.

People in Indiana have the right to engage in acts of self-defense when they are in fear for their physical safety. That right is particularly strong in certain environments. Under Indiana’s current laws, the castle doctrine protects people who engage in self-defense in certain locations.

An individual’s residence

The castle doctrine typically applies to the interior of someone’s home. People have the right to protect themselves against unwanted intrusion by those with criminal intentions. If someone forces entry into a private residence, the people occupying that residence have the right to use physical force in self-defense. There is no need to attempt to leave the situation or retreat prior to using physical force in defense of a private residence in Indiana.

The curtilage around a home

Exterior spaces of a residential home also have protection under Indiana’s castle doctrine. Legal professionals refer to the spaces outside of a home that are extensions of someone’s living space as the curtilage of the home. The curtilage might include a garage, deck, porch or yard. Outside spaces regularly accessed as part of someone’s living space could be part of their curtilage. Any space included in the curtilage of a residential space is potentially a location where someone can engage in self-defense without first attempting to retreat.

An occupied vehicle

A vehicle is technically property, not a residence. However, the statute establishing castle doctrine protections in Indiana also references occupied vehicles. Whether an assailant opens the driver-side door to pull someone out of a vehicle or tries to enter the back seats to threaten someone, people occupying a vehicle can use physical force to defend themselves against that incursion into their space.

Individuals familiar with Indiana’s robust self-defense laws can more effectively respond to allegations of violent criminal activity. Proving that someone acted in self-defense according to the castle doctrine could help them avoid a criminal conviction.