The Law Of Self-Defense: Ohio vs. Florida

Criminal DefenseFelony

March 27, 2012

The recent death of twenty-one-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida at the hands of neighborhood watch member George Zimmerman has sparked increased attention to state laws regarding an individual’s right to use deadly force in self-defense. Each state has different laws regarding the exercise of self-defense, but can generally be placed into one of two categories: “stand your ground” or “castle doctrine“.

Zimmerman has alleged that his shooting of Martin was justified under Florida’s stand-your-ground self-defense law which was adopted in 2005. The stand your ground theory of self-defense states that a person may use deadly force to defend himself when there is reasonable belief of a threat and imposes no obligation on the defending party to retreat first, even in public places.

On the other hand, the castle doctrine of self-defense, currently the law in approximately half of the states, including Ohio, states that an individual is entitled to use deadly force in the face of a credible threat only when he cannot retreat or if he is inside his home or vehicle. In Ohio, the castle doctrine of self-defense was codified in 2008 by Ohio Revised Code Section 2901.09, stating:

For purposes of any section of the Revised Code that sets forth a criminal offense, a person who lawfully is in that person’s residence has no duty to retreat before using force in self-defense, defense of another, or defense of that person’s residence, and a person who lawfully is an occupant of that person’s vehicle or who lawfully is an occupant in a vehicle owned by an immediate family member of the person has no duty to retreat before using force in self-defense or defense of another.

The experienced attorneys of DiCaudo, Pitchford & Yoder have extensive experience defending against criminal offenses of violence. If you have been charged with a criminal offense in Ohio, a knowledgeable Criminal Attorney from DiCaudo, Pitchford & Yoder may be able to help. For legal advice or information, contact, the attorneys at DiCaudo, Pitchford & Yoder today.