MOUNT VERNON — At a crime awareness seminar held in Bladensburg in January, several residents questioned how far they could go in using deadly force in defending themselves or their home.
“We want you to specify what we can be doing to protect ourselves without getting put in jail,” one woman told the law enforcement officers present at the seminar.
“If you shoot someone, you have to articulate that, and it won’t be to me or your neighbor, it will be to a jury,” Detective Chris Barbuto of the Licking County Sheriff’s Office told her.
The Ohio Revised Code does provide for the use of deadly force in self-defense, as long as certain conditions are met. Known as the Castle Doctrine, the code states that “a person is presumed to have acted in self-defense, or in defense of another, when using defensive force that is intended or likely to cause death or serious bodily harm to another person if the person against whom the defensive force is used is in the process of unlawfully entering, or has unlawfully entered, the residence or vehicle occupied by the person using the defensive force.”