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What is the castle doctrine in Illinois?

On Behalf of | Apr 23, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

Allegations of violence are serious and can result in criminal charges against Illinois residents. Too often, innocent men and women are subjected to wrongful charges based on bad information and poor police work. These problematic arrests can result when assaults are alleged and individuals attempt to use self-defense options.

Illinois recognizes limited self-defense rights when individuals are under attacks of violence from others. One of those rights is the castle doctrine, which gives individuals specific self-defense options when they are in their homes. This post will discuss the castle doctrine generally, and readers are reminded that no part of this article should be read as legal guidance for specific cases.

Stand your ground vs. castle doctrine self-defense

Some jurisdictions in the United States recognize stand your ground laws for victims of assault. Under these laws, victims of assault do not have to retreat if they are attacked. Instead, they may stand their ground and defend themselves appropriately against those who seek to harm them. They may use different levels of defense in order to protect themselves from harm.

Illinois is not a stand your ground state. Instead, it is a castle doctrine state. That means that individuals may stand their ground when they are in their homes, but not when they are outside of their homes. If a person is in their residence, they do not have to back down to threats of violence. If they are out of their homes, they must attempt to retreat instead of using self-defense.

Fighting an unlawful charge of assault

Too often, victims of assault find themselves facing criminal charges when their aggressors claim that they were victimized as a result of self-defense. The castle doctrine is an important protection for individuals who stand up to intruders and fight to protect themselves in their homes. When charged with assault, it is important that defendants understand their rights. Criminal defense attorneys can be valuable to the defense planning of those who are facing criminal charges.