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The conditions for shooting in self-defense

Gun violence is a problem for Ohio, particularly in our larger cities. However, Ohio still allows residents to carry firearms because they can be a tool of protection from crime. Guns have both good and bad outcomes, but sometimes the person who pulls the trigger in self-defense faces criminal charges or a wrongful death lawsuit.

The issue in these cases is that you would have to prove that you or another person was in imminent danger. If you carry a firearm for protection, it’s important to review which circumstances would legally allow you to shoot in self-defense.

Retreat before you shoot

If someone else is attacking you, you must first try to escape the situation, perhaps through running or driving away. Ohio does not have “stand-your-ground” laws, so you must remove yourself from danger instead of shooting if you can. In situations where you can’t escape or it would be too dangerous, the use of a gun is a last resort.

Protection in your home

Your home is different from public spaces when it comes to gun use because Ohio follows a “castle doctrine.” If you sense that your life is at stake in your home, you do not need to retreat before shooting in self-defense because you belong on your own property. However, you can’t simply shoot a trespasser unless you have reason to believe that they might seriously injure you.

Pets can pose a threat

Did the neighbor’s dog attack your pet or just won’t stop barking all night? You can’t shoot it. However, you would be able to shoot the neighbor’s dog if it is coming after you viciously and you can’t retreat in time, especially if it has already bitten someone else.

Proving that your actions were in self-defense is an extremely delicate matter that requires the knowledge of a criminal defense attorney. Many situations fall into a gray area, which can make these high-stakes cases complicated.

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