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Thread: Authorized use of deadly force (?)

  1. #1
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    Being new to VA I've been studying up on the gun laws before OC'ing. Even though the state police say to refer to such and such site for the laws regarding deadly force, I couldn't find anything definitive.

    What are the laws regarding deadly force. The obvious being threat of death, but I'm wondering if VA has a "must retreat" law or any other precedent of action before deadly force, both in the home, in your car or on the street.

    Any SME's care to answer?

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    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    Rey wrote:
    Being new to VA I've been studying up on the gun laws before OC'ing. Even though the state police say to refer to such and such site for the laws regarding deadly force, I couldn't find anything definitive.

    What are the laws regarding deadly force. The obvious being threat of death, but I'm wondering if VA has a "must retreat" law or any other precedent of action before deadly force, both in the home, in your car or on the street.

    Any SME's care to answer?
    Virginia has no "duty to retreat" law. If you are in/at a place where you have a legal right to be and are not the antagonist or a precipitator which leads to the threat, you do not have to retreat.

    In terms of using deadly force, you must believe yourself to be in fear of imminent danger of serious harm or death before you may use deadly force. As in most of the country, the three criteria, intent, proximity, and means should (must?) be satisfied.

    Virginia has no Castle Doctrine styled law yet, so your actions could be open to a zealous prosecutor and worse, civil liability, so conduct yourself accordingly.

    If anyone cares to correct my responses here, please do as I do not wish to lead someone down the wrong path with this. Also, if I am off with any of this, I would like to know as well.

    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

    Si vis pacem, para bellum.

    America First!

  3. #3
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    I appreciate the response. A (misinformed) friend of mine in Richmond said he was told you had to be in retreat in your home and had to have made an attempt to retreat on the street as well before using deadly force.

    Not that that's altogether a bad thing. Less for you to be perceived as a "shoot first as questions later" hothead. Just wanted to know if there were laws on the books.

    Thanks again.

  4. #4
    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    The "prudent man" concept will most likely be introduced should a victim be charged and have to go to court. While we do not have a duty to retreat here in Virginia, trying to get out of harm's way before resorting to deadly force is never a bad idea for two simple reasons. It is quite possible that you could wind up on the wrong end of the ground (as in laying there and bleeding your life out). And of course, there is the idea of legal and civil charges hanging out there. On the other side of this issue is by standing your ground and taking out a BG, you just might be saving someone's life down the road.

    Best to handle each situtation on its own merits, but then again. Should something like this ever happen, there most likely will not be sufficient time to weigh all of the variables before acting. Funny how that works.

    I think your approach in today's social climate is quite appropriate.


    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

    Si vis pacem, para bellum.

    America First!

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