In the discussion thread: How the NRA and Its Allies Helped Spread a Radical Gun Law Nationwide [View all]
Response to BainsBane (Reply #59)
Mon Jul 15, 2013, 05:56 PM
Lee-Lee (1,750 posts)
In many states, NC included, the duty to retreat applies in cases where you are not the aggressor but the person who is attacked.
Doesn't make much sense, does it?
A citizen is legally justified in using deadly force against another only if: (a) The citizen actually believes deadly force is necessary to prevent an imminent threat of death, great bodily harm, or sexual assault and (b) The facts and circumstances prompting that belief would cause a person of ordinary firmness to believe deadly force was necessary to prevent an imminent threat of death, great bodily harm, or sexual assault, and (c) The person using deadly force was not an instigator or aggressor who voluntarily provoked, entered, or continued the conflict leading to deadly force, and (d) Force used was not excessive - greater than reasonably needed to overcome the threat posed by a hostile aggressor. (2) Duty To Retreat Before Using Deadly Force Unless and exception such as those listed below applies, a citizen must retreat before using deadly force if retreat is possible. Exception A. There is no duty to retreat before using deadly force if the assault threatens imminent death or great bodily harm - a murderous or felonious assault or sexual assault. Exception B. There is no duty to retreat before using deadly force if the victim is on his or her own premises, or on his or her business premises, or is at home. (4) Deadly Force in Defence of Others A Citizen may intervene and use deadly force in defence of another person when, under the facts and circumstances, it reasonably appeared necessary to save the other person from imminent threat of death, great bodily harm, or sexual assault but only to the extent the other person was entitled to use deadly force in self-defence. (5) Deadly Force MAY NOT Be Used: (a) To Stop a Simple Assault.The exact point in time a simple assault becomes deadly is often unclear. Repeated blows to vital body areas, choking, continued beating on a helpless or weakened victim, are some indicators. (b) Because of the Use of Violent Language § 14-277.1. Communicating threats. (c) Because You Are a Victim of Past Violence and Fear Future Violence (d) Because a Trespasser Refuses to Leave (e) To Arrest a Criminal or to Prevent a Criminal's Escape b. Use of force to protect property The law does not permit the use of deadly force solely to protect property, or to prevent theft, or to regain stolen property. An owner CANNOT shoot at a thief - before, during, or after a theft. The same rule prohibits deadly force to prevent injury or vandalism to property. A different rule applies if life is imminently threatened at the same time property is taken. Deadly force used to prevent an armed robbery is force used to protect life, not to protect property.
That is direct from the NC state approved CCW training guide. The duty to retreat for the victim is in the law unless you meet specific circumstances, the first of which are subject to prosecutorial interpretation.
I was outside my home, and he was at a great enough distance, and only stated his intent was to take me for a ride, that it could be argued that I had opportunity to retreat and bodily harm was not imminent. I have seen prosecutors before claim that an aggressor with a knife at 20 feet it not an imminent threat, despite the fact that such distance can be closed in mere seconds. Further, he could have claimed, had I had to shoot and he survived, that his only intent was to steal the car or otherwise lied about what happened.
Gray area at best- a grand jury could have taken it either way. Most prosecutors in NC are pro self-defense and won't go after a case like mine, but in some jurisdictions, including where I was that day, they often go after cases just like mine.
But in NC there clearly is, by law, a duty to retreat if you are the victim except in certain circumstances. For you to claim there is only a duty to retreat if you are the initial aggressor is demonstrably wrong.
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