On December 28, 2020, Governor Mike Dewine signed SB175 into law, more commonly known as “Stand Your Ground.” The bill was codified into law under R.C. 2901.09. It has been in effect since April 6, 2021.
Most Ohioans have heard of Stand Your Ground, but many do not understand the full implications of the law. This controversial piece of legislation received a lot of media attention, particularly regarding its potential effect on cases involving deadly shootings. However, the law does not apply to firearms exclusively.
Stand Your Ground eliminates the legal duty for someone to retreat before resorting to the use of lethal force in self-defense, defense of another person, or defense of that person's residence. If the claim of defense involves a residence, the person using deadly force must have a legal right to be there.
Previously, killing someone in self-defense was only legal in Ohio if there was no reasonable means of retreating from the danger. That is no longer a requirement. Of course, Stand Your Ground does not give citizens an unbridled license to kill. Lethal force is still only legally justifiable in situations where it is reasonably necessary to prevent injury, loss, or risk to life or safety.
If you have questions about your right to defend yourself or others, contact Fogt Law Office.