Stand Your Ground laws in various states have drawn a lot of criticism in the last few years. Oklahoma is one of the 24 states that have a Stand Your Ground law on its books. These laws allow an individual to use deadly force when he or she is in reasonable fear of great bodily harm or death. This law is in the news again after a robbery attempt at a Tulsa convenience store.
The Ryan's Convenience Store was robbed by multiple men. The convenience store clerk shot two men during the January 13, 2015 robbery. Both men died from their injuries. The prosecutor announced that no charges would be brought against the clerk. The shooting was deemed to be justified due to the facts of the attempted robbery. He cited the Oklahoma Stand Your Ground law in his statement. There are two other suspects that are connected to the attempted robbery. These two suspects have been charged with first-degree murder in connection with the other two deaths.
Generally an individual has a duty to retreat before defending one's self from force. However, when a Stand Your Ground law is in effect, that duty is removed. Unlike the castle doctrine that limits the privilege to real property, like a home, this law applies anywhere. The only standard is the reasonableness of the person's belief.
Whether a clerk in a convenience store or a homeowner has stood in defense of an intruder, facing criminal charges is a serious matter. Quality legal defense matters in these situations. Anyone facing serious charges should seek the advice of a criminal defense attorney.