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KY Stand Your Ground Law

A member of USCCA recently inquired about potential representation in Kentucky for someone charged with defending themselves and use of a weapon, specifically one licensed to Carry a concealed weapon.  Kentucky is one of a number of states that have enacted Stand Your Ground law which provides defense to individuals charged with using deadly force who commit a homicide.  What KRS 403.055 provides is a defense to an action by providing presumptions regarding fear of imminent peril or death if you are within your residence or occupied vehicle. KRS 503.055 provides:  Use of defensive force regarding dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle -- Exceptions. (1) A person is presumed to have held a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another when using defensive force that is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm to another if: (a) The person against whom the defensive force was used was in the process of unlawfully and forcibly entering or had unlawfully and forcibly entered a dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle, or if that person had removed or was attempting to remove another against that person's will from the dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle; and (b) The person who uses defensive force knew or had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry or unlawful and forcible act was occurring or had occurred. See KRS 503.055 for full reading of the statute, as it does not allow for the defense against other titleholders, residents or peace officers, nor if you are using the residence for illegal activity. "Stand your ground is a change in the self-defense defense," he said. "You always have a right to self-defense, but under the common law if you had the ability to run away or retreat in full safety without risking being injured by the person who is attacking you then you have a duty to that. You have what was called the duty to retreat. The stand your ground law changes that standard. It says if you are in any place that you are legally allowed to be, you don't have a duty to retreat." In cases where the "duty to retreat" comes into play, it is up to the jury to establish whether someone had the ability to run away. This law essentially is a boost to a self defense claim.  In all 50 states, defending yourself or others from serious injury or death can be used as a defense in a murder or assault trial. However in Kentucky, acting in self-defense can make a person immune from being prosecuted in the first place if there was a reasonable belief that someone would imminently cause serious bodily injury or death. If you have been charged with a crime, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney. For representation in Northern Kentucky, contact Michael Bouldin at [email protected] or call 859-581-6453.

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