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Are There Self-Defense or Stand Your Ground Laws in Kentucky?

Yes, Kentucky law recognizes a version of the stand your ground law that made Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman household names. Under Kentucky law at KRS 503.050, the use of force is justified if the person believes the force is necessary to protect himself.  Following is the text of the statute on self-defense.   KRS 503.050 Use of physical force in self-protection -- Admissibility of evidence of prior acts of domestic violence and abuse.(1) The use of physical force by a defendant upon another person is justifiable when the defendant believes that such force is necessary to protect himself against the use or imminent use of unlawful physical force by the other person.(2) The use of deadly physical force by a defendant upon another person is justifiable under subsection (1) only when the defendant believes that such force is necessary to protect himself against death, serious physical injury, kidnapping, sexual intercourse compelled by force or threat, felony involving the use of force, or under those circumstances permitted pursuant to KRS 503.055.(3) Any evidence presented by the defendant to establish the existence of a prior act or acts of domestic violence and abuse as defined in KRS 403.720 by the person against whom the defendant is charged with employing physical force shall be admissible under this section.(4) A person does not have a duty to retreat prior to the use of deadly physical force.In addition to the foregoing, KRS 503.055 further provides protection if you are in your dwelling, residence or occupied vehicle.  This basically states that if you are in your home or vehicle, the law presumes that you have a reasonable fear of imminent peril or bodily injury.  This is a step further because under 503.050 the defendant must prove that it was justifiable, wherein in the home/vehicle it is presumed. Further defined in KRS 503.060 are improper uses of force.  Justification defenses are available to many charges, including murder, manslaughter, assault and domestic violence. If you have questions about the law in Kentucky, contact Michael W. Bouldin. If you have been charged with a crime and possibly have a justification defense, make sure you hire an experienced criminal defense attorney.  For consultation, call 859-581-MIKE, (581-6453) or email at mwbouldin2@gmail.com . 

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