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Virginia's Castle Doctrine


"[A] person assaulted while in the discharge of a lawful act, and reasonably apprehending that his assailant will do him bodily harm, has the right to repel the assault by all the force he deems necessary, and is not compelled to retreat from his assailant, but may, in turn, become the assailant, inflicting bodily wounds until his person is out of danger." Dodson v. Commonwealth, 159 Va. 976 (1933)

Virginia does not justify the use of deadly force to defend personal property.


What is Castle Doctrine?

Castle Laws are laws that address the use of force when defending one's self inside their home, or on their property. Some states expand this to vehicles, and the person's place of work. Castle Laws generally include: the places where this law applies, the requirements fro use of deadly force, if there is a duty to retreat, the amount of force that maybe used in defending one's self or others. These vary widely from state to state.


Other Virginia firearm laws

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