Recently, a young man living near Broken Arrow, Oklahoma fended off three home-invaders, protecting both his own life and potentially his mother’s life. What does the Oklahoma Castle Doctrine say on this matter?
Oklahoma’s version of the Castle Doctrine is contained in Oklahoma Statute 21. O.S. 1289.25. It states that any time you have a reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry is occurring, and you use defensive deadly force when someone is in the process of unlawfully and forcefully entering your residence, then you are presumed to have held a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily harm.
In plain English, if the bad guy is:
- Unlawfully, and
- Entered or is entering, your
Then you are presumed reasonable under Oklahoma law.
Here, where the three would-be burglars (who had no lawful right to be in the home) broke into the house (forcibly) and entered (entered or entering) through the back door of his home (residence), this young man was well within the rights of the state’s Castle Doctrine to defend his home, and himself. All four requirements have been met!
Not only that, but Oklahoma law provides him the “presumption” of reasonableness; meaning he enters the courtroom reasonable, and it is up to the prosecutor to convince a jury he was unreasonable (a difficult thing to do!). While there are many other situations where the Castle Doctrine can apply, this situation excellently summarizes the spirit of the law; that a King or Queen of a castle should never have to flee before using deadly force against an intruder. — U.S. Law Shield Staff
Click the video below to see more from U.S. Law Shield of Oklahoma Independent Program Attorney Robert Robles on the Castle Doctrine and its application in this case.