Kansas City, Missouri Castle Doctrine Explained - Murder Self Defense at Home
This is a transcript of the following video Matt O'Connor put together:
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Hi, Matt O’Connor from the O’Connor Law Firm in Kansas City, strategic lawyers group here to talk to you about the castle doctor. Now a lot of people talk about the castle doctrine you may have heard of stand your ground and things like that. But what the castle doctrine means, and I will give you a couple of sentences from the actual jury instructions, because of this, if you're charged with shooting someone, who's trying to unlawfully remain or and tries to enter your home. These are things you probably need to know at the outset. I want to tell you this is not legal advice. You should consult a lawyer this is meant for the general public in terms of education and general knowledge. Of course, you know, facts may vary from case to case. There's never one case is just like the other, so this is just for general information and educational purposes only. Okay. You know, we're lawyers, we have to give that caveat at for sort of like restriction at the beginning.
In Missouri, the law states that the use of physical force, including deadly force by a person, a lawfully occupying a residence or dwelling. So, the first element you have to be in your residence or dwelling lawfully. So, if you live there, whether it's apartment and a home, or motorhome Doublewide doesn't matter, if it's, where you lawfully residing, and another person who attempts, not even gets in attempts to enter unlawfully that residence or dwelling, if that person, that is the person, whose owner occupied of the joint, believes that the use of physical force is necessary to defend him or herself from what he or she reasonably believes is the use of eminent, unlawful, physical force. So that means if you believe that a person is going to use.
They are unlawfully remaining, or trying to break in you can use physical force to repel them. If you believe they're going to use physical force, adding a level. Okay. And again, but it's important to know the law do your own research and consult your attorney. A person is that you are not required to retreat before resorting to the use of physical force. You don't have to like, go hide in the basement. You can use physical force if it's necessary to defend yourself. When you lawfully occupy never be that twice because it's important. So reasonable belief means it belief based on reasonable grounds. That is facts that could lead a reasonable person in the same situation to the same belief. This depends on how the facts are reasonably appearing.
It does not depend upon does not depend upon whether you leave turned out to be true or false in other words, if you reasonably, they're believe breaking in and they're going to cause harm to you or your family, the law entitles, you use physical force.
As used in this instruction, this is the model, Missouri, criminal instructions for the castle doctrine instruction.
The castle doctrine defense as used in this instruction:
Where a person unlawfully enters a residence and when he entered he or she enters such residence or dwelling and is not licensed or privilege to do something weird license is a little bit. They probably couldn't if it weren't for that license means they're not authorized. You haven't given them permission to enter a lawfully or to lawfully remain so, in other words, she didn't invite them in and can't invite somebody up your porch and then shoot.
Now, it goes on to say, as used in this instruction, a person attempts to enter unlawfully when with the purpose to enter unlawful, that is, when they're trying to get in there not invited they're not, they're NOT supposed to be there. You've told him to leave things like that.
In these facts, he takes a substantial step towards the commission of an act justifying the use of force.
Entering unlawfully- so once they act with the purpose, like, they're going to be there, they're not supposed to be there. They're doing so unlawfully, that's that. Substantial step towards the commission of the crime, or remaining unlawfully a substantial step means conduct, which is strongly corroborative of the person's firmness to complete the unlawful entry.
It does not matter if it was factually we're legally impossible to complete the entry. If such entry could have been made under the circumstances, as the person, reasonably believed them to be as used in this instruction that this is a part and I caution people very, very strong. The use of deadly force should always be your last resort. If you can avoid physical confrontation at any level, you should always do so. That's just a good idea generally.
The instructions go on to say:
As use of this instruction, the term deadly force means physical force, which the actor uses with the purpose of causing to create a substantial risk of causing death or physical injury, or serious physical injury. And you repeat that with the purpose of causing, or, which, he knows creates a substantial risk of causing death or serious physical injury as used in this instruction that turn physical injury serious physical injury means physical injury, that creates a substantial risk of death or the causes serious disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of function of any body part and body part. So, in other words, he's a baseball bat and whacks somebody over the head and brain damage that would be serious physical injury.
The prosecutor has the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the actor that is the defendant, if the charged acted in lawful defense and unless the jurors find them believe beyond a reasonable doubt that they didn't act in self-defense. That's sort of a double negative in other words, if the state can't prove that the person acted lawfully according to the castle doctrine defense. The jury must find them not guilty. So it's a pretty broad definition and it gives people a right to defend their home. Their dwelling where they live, and it doesn't give people who are trying to do unlawful bad things a pass. And that's a summary of the castle doctrine again. I caution, you this is just for informational purposes, Seek your attorneys, advice, as this is just meant to be a guideline overall of the castle doctrine. I'm Matt O’Connor from the O'Connor Law Firm Strategic Lawyers Group, LLC in Kansas City. Thank you for viewing.