Maryland criminal lawyers, both defense attorneys and prosecutors, have a difficult time understanding the application of the Castle Doctrine. The answer is simple: A person’s status as an invited guest or uninvited trespasser does not impact an occupant’s right to reasonably defend their property. Under the Castle Doctrine, “a man faced with the danger of an attack upon his dwelling need not retreat from his home to escape the danger, but instead may stand his ground and, if necessary to repel the attack, may kill the attacker.” Regardless of whether the attacker is an uninvited trespasser, or an invited guest-turned aggressor, the law protects an occupant’s right to use force reasonably necessary to prevent or terminate an intruder’s entry into the home.
With respect trespassers and other uninvited aggressors, “Castle Doctrine” jurisdictions uniformly hold that a person unlawfully attacked by an uninvited intruder may stand their ground and use whatever force is reasonably necessary to repel the intruder.
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