Change in Ohio Self Defense Law
By: Gerri L. Elder
Gun rights advocates have pressed lawmakers for years on changing the law regarding the right to protect property with deadly force if necessary. Their efforts have paid off, and the self defense law in Ohio has now changed.
The Dayton Daily News reported that the law change went into effect on September 9 and will now give people who defend their homes the benefit of the doubt.
Ohio adopted a version of the Castle Doctrine, a criminal defense states that a person who uses deadly force against an intruder of their car or home is automatically presumed to have acted in self defense. The adoption of the Castle Doctrine was adopted as part of several concealed carry law updates in Ohio.
Gun rights activists are happy with the update of the law, but prosecutors have concerns that there will now be problems prosecuting criminal cases that arise out of home or car invasion incidents.
Previously under Ohio law, a person who used deadly force against an intruder of their car or home had to prove that they acted in self defense. Now the burden to show that they did not act in self defense is placed on the prosecution, which makes these types of prosecutions extremely difficult.
The Castle Doctrine is named for the age-old theory that a person has a duty to protect his or her property. Several states had already adopted the Castle Doctrine before Ohio updated its law.
Generally if someone breaks into a home, they are not there to do the homeowner any favors. While they may not have the intention to hurt or kill anyone, the Castle Doctrine removes the need to determine or prove a burglar’s intent before using deadly force.