In the U.S., the vast majority of citizens feel that their home is their castle. For Montana residents, it is no different. However, if are in a position that requires you to defend yourself, family and loved ones you may find that the legalities of the situation can become complicated. At the Stevenson Law Office, we often assist clients in developing an aggressive strategy against assault charges.

According to Guns America Digest, Montana is a “stand your ground” state. The laws enable you to defend yourself in a life-threatening situation in a public place, as long as you are legally allowed to be there. Although this sounds cut and dried, the legal realities are complex.

“Stand your ground” statutes differ from castle doctrine laws, which protect you if you injure or kill an intruder in your home or car. As of 2018, Montana was one of 25 states to have laws explicitly enabling citizens to defend themselves in dire situations.

These laws allow you to protect yourself in public rather than retreat. The caveat is that you must believe yourself or loved ones to be in danger of severe physical harm or death. Depending on the circumstances, you may find the person you protected yourself against, files assault charges. During your defense, you must show that you reasonably believed that you were in danger.

Neither stand your ground nor castle doctrine laws require that you stand and fight. The option to retreat is yours, and dependent on your specific circumstances. An experienced attorney can help you understand self-defense laws and protect your rights. Visit our webpage for more information on this topic.