In the majority of cases, the use of violence is against the law in Louisiana. However, there are certain times when using violence against another person is legal, even if it results in taking the other person’s life. This is a form of self-defense and when the violence is so extreme it results in killing someone else, the act may fall under the “Stand Your Ground” law in Louisiana. The Stand Your Ground law is one that is misunderstood by many people. Below, our Monroe violent crime lawyer explains more.
Understanding Louisiana’s Stand Your Ground Law
Louisiana Statute 14:20 outlines certain times when a homicide can be considered justifiable. These are when:
- You believe you are in immediate danger of suffering serious bodily harm or of losing your life,
- You believe the homicide is necessary to protect yourself from the danger, and
- Your belief is reasonable
Even when the above applies, the law does not protect people who were involved in a drug crime at the time of the homicide. The Stand Your Ground law can also apply to protecting a dwelling, place of business, or motor vehicle. In these instances, you must believe another person was going to use unlawful force against you, or that they were trying to use force while attempting to commit or committing a robbery or burglary.
Understanding Reasonable Belief
In order for the Stand Your Ground law to apply, you must show that your use of deadly force was reasonable. To establish the fact that your fear was reasonable, you must show:
- You were lawfully in the dwelling, vehicle, or place of business,
- The use of deadly force was against someone who was trying to enter forcibly and illegally, or the person had already done so, and
- You knew of the forcible and illegal entry
It is important to note that, as the name of the law implies, it is not necessary to try and escape or retreat before using deadly force on someone. For example, if someone forcibly and illegally entered your home, the use of deadly force would be justifiable even if the back door was open and would allow you to escape.
Our Violent Crime Lawyer in Monroe Can Help with Your Defense
If you have used deadly force against someone and are now facing charges of murder or manslaughter, our Monroe violent crime lawyer can help. At Whiddon Criminal Defense, our seasoned attorney knows how to defend against these charges so your rights and future are protected. Call us now at 318-594-3592 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.