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Stand your ground and duty to retreat in murder/homicide charges

With all of the escalating violence currently present in America, you may be relieved to know that Oklahoma is a “stand your ground” state. While this does not give you the power to use force arbitrarily, it does give you the right to defend yourself if you are in imminent danger. Of course, this law only applies if you are in a place where you have the “right to be” and are not involved in illegal activities.

For most, this could be interpreted as being in your home and on your personal property. For example, if an intruder enters your home or your grounds and attacks you with force, you have the right as a state citizen to respond with force. If your response to the intruder results in his or her death, you may avoid murder/homicide charges as long as you acted in accordance with the stand your ground law.

Some states with stand your ground laws also have “duty to retreat” laws. This means that people have a duty to get as far away from a threat before resorting to force. For example, if an intruder attacks someone at their home in a duty to retreat state, the victim must attempt to retreat before using force. Oklahoma is not a duty to retreat state, which means you not have to retreat from harm, but may instead use force to protect your family.

As criminal defense attorneys, we want to caution you that you could still face murder/homicide charges even if you were standing your ground. After all, the law has its own duty to uncover the truth in any situation resulting in the loss of life. However, with legal guidance you have an excellent chance of successfully fighting these charges and returning to your life as a free citizen. Please visit us online if you need additional information about creating a criminal defense strategy.