The issue of a Colorado Stand Your Ground Legislation frequently comes up when talking about property owner obligations of care to trespassers. A self-defense statute known as “Stand Your Ground” enables property owners to use deadly force when they have a good-faith belief that they are in danger. These laws typically oppose the duty to retreat, which is the need for a property owner to take all reasonable steps to flee a threat before using lethal action in self-defense. A “stand your ground” law disregards the need to flee and promotes aggressive defense.
In some situations, a property owner in Colorado is allowed to defend their land. According to Colorado Revised Statute section 18-1-704, a person may legitimately use physical force to protect others, as well as themselves, from someone else using unlawful physical force against them. The owner of the property may in this case employ whatever level of force he or she reasonably deems necessary for self-defense or the defense of others. So, in Colorado, a property owner who injures a trespasser may not be held liable for the trespasser’s injuries through civil or criminal action. The property owner would need to demonstrate that they acted properly in the good faith belief that the intruder posed a threat.
Castle doctrine and Colorado Make My Day Law
American law primarily derives from English law brought over in the colonies, including the common law principles that continue to guide many of our legal principles today. Among those common law principles is the castle doctrine. The castle doctrine says individuals have the right to use reasonable force, even deadly force, to protect against a home intruder. The castle doctrine and statutes incorporating the common law date back centuries in English law.
In every state in the US, people have the right to self-defense but the use of deadly force as self-defense is not absolute in every state. In some states the castle doctrine is rejected and people have a duty to retreat from an attacker if possible, even in their own home. In states with the castle doctrine, the right to use lethal force in self-defense can be limited to your home, car, or property.
In 1985 Colorado was the first state to pass a stand your ground law, at the time referred to as a “make my day law” (Colorado Revised Statute 18-1-704.5) which shields a person from criminal and civil liability from using force up to deadly force against a home invader. Under the Make My Day Law, there is no duty to assess the threat and use proportional force to prevent injury. Stand your ground law in Colorado applies beyond your home and requires more restraint in exercising force; however, it does not require you to retreat from an attack.
What should I do if I am attacked someone’s property?
Consult a premises liability attorney to learn your rights if someone fired, attacked, or otherwise hurt you while you were on that person’s property without their consent. If you weren’t a danger to the property owner, who could be held accountable for your injuries. Also, the property owner may be held accountable for your injuries if they employed excessive force. Yet, Colorado’s Stand Your Ground Law might prevent you from suing a property owner for damages as an injured trespasser. To increase your chances of winning a trespassing case against a property owner, work with a skilled personal injury attorney.
Premises liability cases, often referred to as slip and fall cases, involve more complex legal analysis than many other personal injury cases. Colorado’s premises liability law assigns different rights to pursue claims depending on your legal status and right to be on that property. It changes the owner’s liability for injuries and damages based upon your legal status. In a situation where you are attacked on someone else’s property, it is likely the owner will insist you were a trespasser or instigated an attack. If you fail to successfully maneuver the specifics of the relevant premises liability law, you may find insurance companies and property owners denying your claim. Let an experienced Colorado personal injury lawyer review your case and help you pursue compensation for your injuries.