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Old February 28, 2012, 10:44 AM   #39
Spats McGee
Join Date: July 28, 2010
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 6,906
Arkansas and the Castle Doctrine

If Castle Doctrine is going to be debated, I'll set out what Arkansas has on the books.

First, Ark. Code Ann. 5-2-607: Use of deadly physical force in defense of a person

(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.
Ark. Code Ann. § 5-2-607 (West)

Second, Ark. Code Ann. § 5-2-620. Defense, person or property

(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.
(c) The public policy stated in subsection (a) of this section shall be strictly complied with by the court and an appropriate instruction of this public policy shall be given to a jury sitting in trial of criminal charges brought in connection with this public policy.
Ark. Code Ann. § 5-2-620 (West)
I'm a lawyer, but I'm not your lawyer. If you need some honest-to-goodness legal advice, go buy some.
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