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Understanding Oregon’s “Stand Your Ground” Statute

Posted on Monday, April 9th, 2012 at 4:47 am    

The death of Trayvon Martin in Florida has raised many questions about the “Stand Your Ground” statute in the state. This statute allows a person to use deadly force in cases of self-defense if needed, even if not in the home.

Although most states do allow for reasonable force to be used in self-defense cases and many times, this covers deadly force, when a person is on their own home, called the ‘Castle Doctrine.’ The use deadly force when a person is no longer in the home is typically not legal unless the person is not able to get away from the threat.

Florida was the first state to make it legal to use deadly force when outside of the home in 2005. The Florida law states that a person has “no duty to retreat” if they are attacked, they can stand their ground and use deadly force if needed. In Oregon, the law also states “‘no duty to retreat,” but whether a person could use deadly force in self defense was not made clear. In 1971, the State of Oregon put limitations on the use of deadly force in self defense cases and these include:

  • Committing or attempting to commit a felony involving the use or threatened
  • imminent use of physical force against a person; or
  • Committing or attempting to commit a burglary in a dwelling; or
  • Using or about to use unlawful deadly physical force against a person

Many think that the Oregon Supreme court should clarify the ORS 161.219 in order to determine if the no duty to retreat statute means that deadly force is used in self-defense or not. As of right now, it is not as clear as it is in the state of Florida.

The learn more about Oregon’s “Stand Your Ground” statute, click here to learn more.

If you or a loved one has been charged of a serious crime, contact the Portland criminal defense lawyers of Castleberry & Ellison, P.C. by calling 503-223-0011 today.