What are the requirements to invoke the Castle Doctrine?

UPDATED: Dec 27, 2014

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What are the requirements to invoke the Castle Doctrine?

I recently drew a gun on someone in my home after feeling threatened by them. They were told twice to leave but did not comply with my request. I then drew my gun. They have since filed charges on me for simple assault and exbiting a weapon. What I would like to know is, am I protected under this law in a court to have the charges thrown out?

Asked on December 27, 2014 under Criminal Law, Mississippi


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Based on what you write, you are probably *not* protected. Your state's "Castle" doctrine applies to the use of a gun to defend against an attempt to commit a *felony* in your home. However, someone not leaving when you ask them to do so is not a felony--it's a misdemeanor (an offense punishable by less than a year in jail). You are not entitled to draw on someone or otherwise threaten them with a gun to make them leave--only to stop an a felony assault, a robbery, etc. Rather, what you should have done is to call the police and let the do their job, which would have been to remove the trespasser.

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