Castle Doctrine/Duty to Retreat in Arkansas
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Thread: Castle Doctrine/Duty to Retreat in Arkansas

  1. Castle Doctrine/Duty to Retreat in Arkansas

    Can someone tell me definitively if Arkansas is or is not a Castle Doctrine state and if so how does AR law define it in context of self defense.
    Also I have heard that Arkansas IS and then IS NOT a Duty to Retreat state. Can someone definitively speak to that as well?
    Thank you

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  3. #2
    Join Date
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    Republic of Dead Cell Holler, Occupied Territories of AL, former USA
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    The thread devoted to Arkansas State Laws on this site says it is not a Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground law(s) state. However, as always, it's your state's codes that you should refer to. This site does a great job of gathering and compiling laws from across the country, but they can change from time to time and pages can take a little while to update.

    Blues
    No one has ever heard me say that I "hate" cops, because I don't. This is why I will never trust one again though: You just never know...

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
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    Howdy Hammer,

    Arkansas is NOT a Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground law(s) state.

    Arkansas is a Duty to Retreat State.

    Do you recall in church parking lot shooting in Little Rock back in '06 or '07?

    If I remember theirs names correctly, Samual Johnson ( 51-54yo ish ) had just got in his truck after choir practice when a 30ish white woman ( Johnson was black ) beat on the passenger side window and started yelling for help. While Johnson is looking at her Jones, a 19yo black man appeared on the driver's side with a handgun and ordered Johnson out of the truck.

    As Johnson was got out of his truck he retrieved his Ruger P89 9mm and was hiding it behind his hip/butt and told the Jones to take the truck.

    Jones realized that the truck was a stick shift and since he could not drive a stick shift I told Johnson to drive the truck for him. Johnson refused to drive the truck.

    Both were standing outside the truck on the driver's side and after a short argument Jones asked Johnson what was he hiding behind his back. At this point Johnson said that since Jones was holding a handgun on him ( a 9mm I think ) he felt he didn't have any choice but to shoot him.

    Johnson shot him 3 times and Jones just stood there looking at him so he shot him an additional 7 times before he feel to the ground.

    Afterward PA Larry Jegely charged him with 2nd degree murder based on the fact the Johnson did NOT flee when he had the opportunity to flee instead of shooting Jones.

    Luckily Gov'r Huckabee intervened and forced Jegely to drop the charges against Johnson.

    The event I posted above is based on my memory of what was in the Demo-Zette, THV11 news and talking to Mr. Johnson at Don's Weaponery on Saturday after the shooting. The incident took place on Wednesday.

    He stated and repeated several times that he "didn't want to shoot that boy" ( his words ) but he didn't have a choice. Also said he was too old to run from a young man holding him at gun point.

    A day or two before this event Jones had tried to carjack a young married couple but their car was a stick shift too. IIRC both ran off and after Jones left they returned to the car unharmed.

    I do NOT agree with Arkansas' Duty to Flee law have talk to my State Rep ( who actually introduced a Castle Doctrine law but got turned down ) and State Senator about changing our law.

    In Arkansas you only have the right to SYG in your home but 2 years ago it got changed to while on your property.

    Paul

    P.S. for 9mm vs .40S&W debate: LRPD kept Mr. Johnson's 9mm Ruger so he bought a XD .40S&W.
    I'm so Liberal that I work at the Bill and Hillary Clinton Regional Airport!

  5. Castle Doctrine/Duty to Retreat in Arkansas

    Thanks much guys. So in the second case I guess I can run and give the assailant my back as a target rather than protecting myself and/or my wife and children on the spot......politicians.....

  6. #5
    What can we do to try and get a castle law in AR? I'm concerned about a civil suit after I am forced to defend myself from some criminal trying to harm me. You know if the perps family thinks they can they will try to profit off of incident. They will think about all the money they will be missing out on from the future criminal activities that the perp will not be committing.
    It is just wrong to have that be a possibility.

  7. #6
    ezkl2230 Guest
    You already HAVE Castle Doctrine in AR.

    Arkansas Criminal Statue §5-2-620:

    “(a)The right of an individual to defend himself or herself and the life of a person or property in the individual’s home against harm, injury, or loss by a person unlawfully entering or attempting to enter or intrude into the home is reaffirmed as a fundamental right to be preserved and promoted as a public policy in this state.

    (b)there is a legal presumption that any force or means used to accomplish a purpose described in subsection (a) of this section was exercised in a LAWFUL and NECESSARY manner, unless the presumption is overcome by clear and convincing evidence to the contrary.”

    § 5-2-607 (a) A person is justified in using deadly physical force upon another person if the person reasonably believes that the other person is:

    (1) Committing or about to commit a felony involving force or violence;

    (2) Using or about to use unlawful deadly physical force; or

    (3) Imminently endangering the person’s life or imminently about to victimize the person as described in 9-15-103 from the continuation of a pattern of domestic abuse.

    (b) A person may not use deadly physical force in self-defense if the person knows that he or she can avoid the necessity of using deadly physical force with complete safety:

    (1) (A) By retreating.

    (B) However, a person is not required to retreat if the person is:

    (i) In the person’s dwelling or on the curtilage surrounding the person’s dwelling and was not the original aggressor; or

    (ii) A law enforcement officer or a person assisting at the direction of a law enforcement officer; or

    (2) By surrendering possession of property to a person claiming a lawful right to possession of the property.

    (c) As used in this section:

    (1) “Curtilage” means the land adjoining a dwelling that is convenient for residential purposes and habitually used for residential purposes, but not necessarily enclosed, and includes an outbuilding that is directly and intimately connected with the dwelling and in close proximity to the dwelling; and

    (2) “Domestic abuse” means:

    (A) Physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or the infliction of fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, or assault between family or household members; or

    (B) Any sexual conduct between family or household members, whether minors or adults, that constitutes a crime under the laws of this state."

  8. #7
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hammer1960 View Post
    Thanks much guys. So in the second case I guess I can run and give the assailant my back as a target rather than protecting myself and/or my wife and children on the spot......politicians.....
    NO

  9. #8
    we do have a very good law for self defense but it is not a castle law or a stand you ground law in the sense that you can not be sued in civil court. Even if you are found justified in your actions in Arkansas the family can still sue you.

  10. #9
    Join Date
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    What Ark needs is "Stand Your Ground" law. "That Duty to Retreat" in complete safety is not good enough. If I'm in a place that is legal for me to be and I'm attacked, why should I have to retreat? If I'm in the middle of an attack, I don't have time to see if my family and I have a safety avenue of escape. I "need" to attend to business at hand, like staying alive! I'm disabled and won't be doing any running for my life. There isn't any "complete safety" for me. It's either stand and fight or die, or worse!
    Can I make the laws at hand work for me? Yes I can, I would rather they be spelled out better to protect the innocent and not the criminal. ymmv
    ~Responsible people who understand that their personal protection is up to them, provide themselves with protection. Those that don't have only themselves to blame.~Proud NRA ~SAF~GoA Member~

  11. #10
    ezkl2230 Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by gejoslin View Post
    What Ark needs is "Stand Your Ground" law. "That Duty to Retreat" in complete safety is not good enough. If I'm in a place that is legal for me to be and I'm attacked, why should I have to retreat? If I'm in the middle of an attack, I don't have time to see if my family and I have a safety avenue of escape. I "need" to attend to business at hand, like staying alive! I'm disabled and won't be doing any running for my life. There isn't any "complete safety" for me. It's either stand and fight or die, or worse!
    Can I make the laws at hand work for me? Yes I can, I would rather they be spelled out better to protect the innocent and not the criminal. ymmv
    The duty to retreat applies ONLY if you can in complete safety. Otherwise, B) 1 applies: you are in your own home and are not the originator of the aggression. What constitutes aggression is pretty subjective - reasonable man test.

    But I agree, the law would be better if it never even mentioned duty to retreat. That's what I like about Michigan's castle law - the act of breaking into one's home constitutes an act of aggression, and we have no duty to retreat at all.

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