Michigan, Self Defense Question
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Thread: Michigan, Self Defense Question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Flint, Michigan
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    Michigan, Self Defense Question

    Some people I talk to about the "No duty to retreat" or "Stand your ground act" have said, it only applies to you in your home. Ive always interpreted it as if I am leaving some place, some dude or group of people tries to mug me, I do not have to retreat if I have the legal right to be there, and I am within rights to pull and shoot the suspects if I feel my life is in danger.
    Now, they have [guys i work with] say that I have to retreat, or run from them if I have the ability, ie not cornered etc.

    What is your guys take on the law? Am I right, or are my co workers?
    Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you, Jesus Christ and the American Soldier....One died for your soul; the other for your freedom.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Daytona Beach, Florida
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    Depends on your state...In some places you have to retreat if at all possible...even in your car...

    PS always best to check state law...

  4. #3

    No Duty to Retreat only applicable in 3 scenarios

    Quote Originally Posted by Itstjs View Post
    Some people I talk to about the "No duty to retreat" or "Stand your ground act" have said, it only applies to you in your home. Ive always interpreted it as if I am leaving some place, some dude or group of people tries to mug me, I do not have to retreat if I have the legal right to be there, and I am within rights to pull and shoot the suspects if I feel my life is in danger.
    Now, they have [guys i work with] say that I have to retreat, or run from them if I have the ability, ie not cornered etc.

    What is your guys take on the law? Am I right, or are my co workers?
    This is a pretty good layman's explanation, applicable to Michigan Law:

    Michigan Coalition of Responsible Gun Owners - Forum question MCRGO - Frequently Asked Questions about Michigan Gun Laws

    Q: During my CPL class we were told of the requirement to retreat before using deadly force. Upon reading the deadly force laws I cannot find where it states you must retreat before using deadly force. Could you please point me to the law that states you must retreat.

    A: The answer to this question depends on the date. Michigan's new "No Retreat" laws go into effect on October 1, 2006. Prior to this upcoming change, the law stated that generally, you have a duty to retreat before using deadly force. By law, a person must avoid using deadly force if he can safely do so. "Duty to retreat" means that you must attempt to physically escape or evade a confrontation. There were three exceptions to this rule; 1) if you are attacked suddenly and violently, 2) if you cannot retreat safely, 3) if you are in your home or its attached appurtenances.

    The new law says you have no duty to retreat, before using deadly or non-deadly force, anywhere you have a legal right to be. Of course, you still may only use deadly force if you are in imminent danger of being killed, seriously injured or sexually assaulted. The new laws are 2006 PA 309 and 2006 PA 313.

    Prior to this new legislation, the rules on using deadly force and the "duty to retreat" were case law (common law) based. The new statutes codifies much of the law but also states that except as specifically modified, the common law as it existed on October 1, 2006 remains unchanged.



    Citations from Michigan State Legislature:

    Documents:
    Section 768.21c Use of deadly force by individual in own dwelling; "dwelling" defined.
    Section 780.972 Use of deadly force by individual not engaged in commission of crime; conditions.
    Section 780.973 Duty to retreat; effect of act on common law.

  5. Michigan Self Defense Act
    Michigan does have a fairly strong stand your ground law. Look at the link above for a summary provided to the Michigan state police with links to the legislation.

  6. #5
    Join Date
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    Tallahassee Florida
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    Prior to October 1st 2006 the Michigan Castle Doctrine only applied to your dwelling. People v Riddle, MSC No. 118181 (July 31, 2002). However Oct 1st 2006 HB 5143 was signed into law.

    HB5143

    Sec. 2. (1) An individual who has not or is not engaged in the commission of a crime at the time he or she uses deadly force may use deadly force against another individual anywhere he or she has the legal right to be with no duty to retreat if either of the following applies:

    (a) The individual honestly and reasonably believes that the use of deadly force is necessary to prevent the imminent death of or imminent great bodily harm to himself or herself or to another individual.

    (b) The individual honestly and reasonably believes that the use of deadly force is necessary to prevent the imminent sexual assault of himself or herself or of another individual.

    (2) An individual who has not or is not engaged in the commission of a crime at the time he or she uses force other than deadly force may use force other than deadly force against another individual anywhere he or she has the legal right to be with no duty to retreat if he or she honestly and reasonably believes that the use of that force is necessary to defend himself or herself or another individual from the imminent unlawful use of force by another individual.

    "It's easier to avoid conflict than it is to survive it" - SGB

  7. One trick in Michigan' self-defense law is that most prosecutors and police believe that you need lethal provocation to brandish a weapon, not simply to use lethal force. I worked on an appeal several months ago where the guy pulled his gun after being non-lethally threatened. He simply displayed the gun and told the guy to back off. The judge told the jury that the Defendant had to have lethal provocation. Stated another way, if you draw the gun you might as well use it.

    I don't agree with the judge. In my brief, I found cases as Cobalt Blue as Massachusetts and as Candy Apple Red as Texas that were to the contrary of this judge, but our standard jury instruction supports her position.

  8. #7

    Michigan, Self Defense Question

    I still think you have a moral duty to retreat if you can do so safely... Not continue to engage the threat just because you can legally do so. The law gives you some leeway in case you don't have time to consider options.

  9. My only point is that there was sufficient gaps in Michigan's self-defense law that if the police want to charge you, they can probably charge you. Florida's self-defense laws are tougher than Michigan's and look where Zimmerman is at. If the punk ripping you off is the nephew of a City Councilman or influential clergy, you could easily find yourself on the wrong side of jail bars.

    If you are faced with the unfortunate situation where you have actually used your weapon you should: (a) never make it sound like it was about property; (b) tell the police officer that you were in fear of your life and felt you had no other choice; (c) try not to have a bad ass tone in your voice; and (d) tell them because of the loss of life/serve injury, etc., you don't want to say anything else until you have a lawyer. Hire a lawyer (by the hour) at this point to do precharge deflection. Have him/her work with you on your statement and send it to the cops. Don't make the mistake of thinking you can handle this yourself. You may pay $1,000 in pretrial deflection, but if you if you are charged you can easily pay $50,000. If it is possible to say something that sounds like you regret taking a life without coming close to admitting fault, you might wish to do so, but be careful, e.g. "he was only a kid." Again, don't make them think you were junior G-Man killing someone over a laptop, a pair of hubcaps, etc.

    If you think you are smart enough to talk yourself out of this mess, google on the Reid method of interrogation. Moreover, everything you say will be deemed an admission. Straight logical arguments are the classic example. If someone offers a factually flawed argument and you assume for the sake of argument you were in the positiion they claim and show the flaws fo the argument, I've met too many people who will take your assumption for the sake of argument as an admission of fact.

    An attorney can often set the tone, say things on background, etc. to the cop which you can't because it won't come out right or because it will be deemed a party admission. Before you think that only a guilty man needs an attorney, look at most police contracts. They have their own set of Miranda warnings ("Garity rights") built into the contract.

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