Does "Stand Your Ground" law apply to shooting

posted by Megan Rivers, WCIV -

According to the Protection of Persons and Property Act, also known as the “Stand Your Ground” law, a person has the ability to protect himself or herself, even through the use of deadly force, if someone else is unlawfully and forcefully entering a home or occupied vehicle, or if someone is removing or attempting to remove another person against his will from the home or occupied vehicle.

Attorney Ryan Schwartz of Thrower and Schwartz said, "You can meet deadly force with deadly force. If we're in a fist fight and you pull a knife out, then that becomes an elevated threat. I could use deadly force because a reasonable person would see that as a threat to their life."

He said this defense can't always be used. "You're actually not allowed to elevate the force to deadly force."

Schwartz said it’s legal to protect your home and your vehicle; only if you're inside of it. "If you are occupying that vehicle, it is considered an extension of your home, and you can use deadly force. If someone enters your vehicle, it's assumed they're trying to cause harm to you. However, if you catch someone trying to break into your vehicle, that doesn't necessarily arise to the assumption that there's going to be deadly force used and I would advise that you call 911 and not use deadly force to protect a car."

Schwartz also said the law does not provide defense for vigilante justice. He said when in doubt, call police.

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