Stand your ground laws have been in the news quite a bit in recent years. These laws, which are in place in South Carolina along with many other states, state that people are permitted to use force when protecting their homes and families. Understanding these laws is crucial in the event you ever find yourself face to face with an intruder, or in any other situation where you feeling you’re being threatened. The National Conference of State Legislatures expands on stand your ground laws.
The first of these laws came into being in the 80s. They were implemented with the goal of protecting people who used sometimes deadly force to deter those who were forcibly and unlawfully entering their property. However, the phrase “stand your ground” didn’t appear legally until Florida enacted laws based on the castle doctrine, which offers similar protections.
The Florida law stated that a person had no duty to retreat when in a place where he or she is permitted to be and in fear of death or significant bodily harm from another person. These laws were soon expanded to 25 states, although only 10 have specific stand your ground language. South Carolina is one of these states.
South Carolina also has laws in place that provide civil immunity in cases where a person uses self-defense. This means that a person can’t be subject to a civil case after causing loss of life or bodily harm to another person who was attempting to forcibly enter their home or property or being threatening. However, immunity is only provided under certain circumstances.