In Connecticut, there are different statutes for self-defense using deadly force and self-defense using ordinary force. The right to use self-defense also depends on whether the individual is protecting themselves in their business or residence. A gun rights attorney is the perfect professional to contact if you use your permitted firearm in self-defense.
A person using their permitted pistol must have reasonable belief that their life is in danger or serious bodily harm will come to them if they do not defend themselves. They also have a duty to retreat if they are able to and still remain safe. However, if the individual is in their home or business, they do not have the duty to retreat, police officers do not have the duty to retreat either. Consulting with a gun rights attorney will allow you to work together in order to ascertain the most important facts of the case that will prove self-defense.
The concept behind the Castle Doctrine is that a person’s home or business is their “castle” and they have a right to defend their castle. The origin comes from English Common Law where they described “one’s home is one’s castle”.
Stand Your Ground statutes state that an individual that believes their life is in danger or is in danger of serious bodily harm has no duty to retreat no matter where they are, they do not have to be in their place of business or at their residence.
In the United States 46 states have adopted the Castle Doctrine, 25 of those states have incorporated Stand Your Ground statute provisions. In some states there is wording that allows immunity to the surviving gang member when two gang members shoot at each other. Some states simply give immunity to individuals claiming self-defense. However, in Connecticut, gun owners must retreat if they are safely able to and they are not in their residence or place of business.
As already stated, according to Connecticut law CGS section 53a-23, “a person may use physical force (self-defense): to protect himself or a third person, his home or office, or his property; to make an arrest or prevent an escape; or to perform certain duties (for example, a teacher may protect a student, a parent may protect a child).
However, there are some restrictions within the statute. A person is not justified in using deadly physical force if they know they can avoid it by safely:
Retreating, except in one’s residence office and the person was not the initial aggressor
Surrendering property to the aggressor that actually belongs to the aggressor and not the individual attempting self-defense
Completing a command by either the aggressor, a peace officer, or other individual, that the individual not take action and the action is not something he or she is required to do; for example, if the aggressor commands an individual to stop moving and the individual can safely stop moving, then he must.
Additionally, an individual cannot claim self-defense (1) when they have intent to cause harm and they provoke the other person; (2) the use of force was a result of an agreement involving physical force or combat, even if the act is not specifically authorized by law; and (3) the individual is the initial aggressor. If the individual is the initial aggressor, they are able to claim self-defense if after the initial aggression, he withdraws from the situation, effectively voices this to the other person, and the other person continues to use force.
If you are a gun owner and concerned about your rights to defend your home, contact a gun rights attorney. You will learn the best ways to handle an altercation should it happen and how to react legally and know when it is time to use deadly force. If you are already in the position where you have been in a deadly altercation, reaching out to a gun rights attorney can help you prove self-defense. You have a constitutional right to own a firearm, make sure you understand your rights when you need to use it.
Call (203) 624-6115 to schedule a consultation with Knight & Cerritelli in our New Haven office.
NOTE: This is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.