WA State - Castle Doctrine ?
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Thread: WA State - Castle Doctrine ?

  1. #1

    WA State - Castle Doctrine ?

    Does WA state have a castle doctrine and/or a "no retreat". Haven't found anything in RCW's/WAC's

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  3. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by phrogmedic View Post
    Does WA state have a castle doctrine and/or a "no retreat". Haven't found anything in RCW's/WAC's
    See RCW Title 9A, Chapter 16.
    James M. "Jim" Mullins, Jr., Esq.
    Attorney, The Law Offices of James M. Mullins, Jr., PLLC
    Founder and Past President, West Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc.

  4. #3
    Castle doctrine, yes. No duty to retreat. You have to combine the statutes posted in RCW 9A.16 with RCW 9A.52 and you have castle doctrine and no duty to retreat established.
    Anyone who says, "I support the 2nd amendment, BUT"... doesn't. Element of Surprise: a mythical element that many believe has the same affect upon criminals that Kryptonite has upon Superman.

  5. #4
    "Washington"

    "The statute in Washington state appears to be very simply and broadly stated.[25]

    The law allows use of deadly force in the lawful defense of oneself, a family member, or any other person, when there is reasonable ground to prevent action(s) of the person slain to commit a felony or to do injury or harm, and there is imminent danger of such design being accomplished; or in the actual resistance of an attempt to commit a felony upon the slayer, on those in their presence, or upon or in a dwelling, or other place of abode, in which they are.

    Washington state doesn’t have a specific Castle Doctrine law, but has no duty to retreat as precedent was set when the State Supreme Court found "that there is no duty to retreat when a person is assaulted in a place where he or she has a right to be."
    That's all I could find. So I would think no.

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by ironmike86 View Post
    "Washington"

    "The statute in Washington state appears to be very simply and broadly stated.[25]

    The law allows use of deadly force in the lawful defense of oneself, a family member, or any other person, when there is reasonable ground to prevent action(s) of the person slain to commit a felony or to do injury or harm, and there is imminent danger of such design being accomplished; or in the actual resistance of an attempt to commit a felony upon the slayer, on those in their presence, or upon or in a dwelling, or other place of abode, in which they are.

    Washington state doesn’t have a specific Castle Doctrine law, but has no duty to retreat as precedent was set when the State Supreme Court found "that there is no duty to retreat when a person is assaulted in a place where he or she has a right to be."
    That's all I could find. So I would think no.
    RCW 9A.52.010 defines "entry" for the purposes of burglary as an attempt to remove property with an instrument (prying off a screen, attempting to jimmy a door, pry open a window):
    RCW 9A.52.010
    Definitions.

    The following definitions apply in this chapter:

    (1) "Premises" includes any building, dwelling, structure used for commercial aquaculture, or any real property;

    (2) "Enter". The word "enter" when constituting an element or part of a crime, shall include the entrance of the person, or the insertion of any part of his body, or any instrument or weapon held in his hand and used or intended to be used to threaten or intimidate a person or to detach or remove property;
    RCW 9A.52.025 establishes residential burglary as a felony:

    RCW 9A.52.025
    Residential burglary.

    (1) A person is guilty of residential burglary if, with intent to commit a crime against a person or property therein, the person enters or remains unlawfully in a dwelling other than a vehicle.

    (2) Residential burglary is a class B felony.
    RCW 9A.16.050 justifies homicide in the case of a person defending themselves against a felony which may be imminent.

    RCW 9A.16.050
    Homicide — By other person — When justifiable.

    Homicide is also justifiable when committed either:

    (1) In the lawful defense of the slayer, or his or her husband, wife, parent, child, brother, or sister, or of any other person in his presence or company, when there is reasonable ground to apprehend a design on the part of the person slain to commit a felony or to do some great personal injury to the slayer or to any such person, and there is imminent danger of such design being accomplished; or

    (2) In the actual resistance of an attempt to commit a felony upon the slayer, in his presence, or upon or in a dwelling, or other place of abode, in which he is.
    Those three statutes together clearly establish castle doctrine in Washington state. They were revised to their current wording as quoted in 2011, so maybe castle doctrine was more clearly established in Washington state this year.
    Anyone who says, "I support the 2nd amendment, BUT"... doesn't. Element of Surprise: a mythical element that many believe has the same affect upon criminals that Kryptonite has upon Superman.

  7. #6
    I thought Castle Doctrine was to protect/defend your property?? When they threaten you then it becomes " No duty to retreat" ?? Dunno but that's how I read it. But I've been wrong once before. :)

  8. #7
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    Good info there, Navy, you obviously spent some time researching and putting that together. Nicely done.
    1)"When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty." -Thomas Jefferson.
    2)"Imagine how gun control might be stomped if GOA or SAF had the (compromising) NRA's 4 million members!" -Me. http://jpfo.org/filegen-n-z/nraletter.htm

  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by ironmike86 View Post
    I thought Castle Doctrine was to protect/defend your property?? When they threaten you then it becomes " No duty to retreat" ?? Dunno but that's how I read it. But I've been wrong once before. :)
    Castle doctrine is a law which establishes the absolute right of a person to defend themselves in their home, or anyone legally present in their home, from intrusion into that home, by using deadly force.

    In other words, in a state with castle doctrine laws, the mere presence of an intruder illegally inside your home is, by itself, justification to use deadly force against them. In a state without castle doctrine laws, the intruder who is illegally inside your home must first prove to be a credible threat to your life or to doing grave bodily harm.

    In Washington, RCW 9A.16.050 establishes the right of a person to use deadly force to prevent the commission of a felony against the slayer. There is no requirement for the threat of death or injury to be present - only the threat of a felony being committed.

    RCW 9A.52.025 establishes that a person who enters a home illegally is committing a felony, therefore deadly force is allowed to be used against them.

    RCW 9A.52.010 defines "entry" as the mere act of using a tool to remove a part of a dwelling in order to gain access.

    So, you catch the burglar jimmying the lock of your door, or prying open a window - that is considered illegal entry into your home, which is defined as a felony, which you have a right to defend yourself against using deadly force. That's castle doctrine.

    No duty to retreat simply means that you have no legal responsibility to attempt to flee from the felon before using force to defend yourself. It can be applicable to castle doctrine only, or it can be applied to anywhere in public, which is often referred to as a "stand your ground" law. Washington state has no duty to flee required in statute.

    So, in some states without castle doctrine and with a duty to retreat, a person must be physically attacked or a credible threat of death or grave bodily harm actually presented to them, then they must attempt to flee from such attack or threat, and then...and only then... after they have been attacked and attempted to flee, can they use force against the criminal, even in their own home. Many such states also presume the slayer to be guilty until the person can prove that they were attacked/threatened and they did attempt to flee first. All the state has to prove, in such a case, is that the slayer killed someone.

    In states with castle doctrine/no duty to retreat the slayer is presumed innocent first, and the state must then prove that it was not self defense.
    Anyone who says, "I support the 2nd amendment, BUT"... doesn't. Element of Surprise: a mythical element that many believe has the same affect upon criminals that Kryptonite has upon Superman.

  10. #9
    If someone breaks into your house. To me they are a threat unless they flee. Only time I see not shooting them. Otherwise if they aren't fleeing after being caught I would consider them a threat. Laws or not.
    Castle Indoctrinate should be in every State IMO

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