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Detailing Colorado’s “Make My Day” law

Posted on April 8, 2020

Like most people in Breckenridge, you likely cannot foresee any scenario where you might engage in any activity that some might construe as being criminal. That is the same assumption that many of those that we here at the Law Offices of J.B. Katz, P.C. had before they felt compelled to act in the defense of their homes and families. 

Claims of self-defense are often met with scrutiny, yet when you have encountered a situation where you felt forced to act, you should know exactly what situations in which the law views acting with force as justified. 

The castle doctrine 

There are basically two philosophies underlying a majority of self-defense laws in the U.S.: the “Stand Your Ground” philosophy and “the Castle Doctrine.” “Stand Your Ground” essentially means that you have no obligation to retreat from a potential confrontation where another person is threatening you and/or others. The Castle Doctrine permits you to use force in defense of your home, vehicle and other swellings. Colorado subscribes to the latter philosophy, even potentially allowing your more leeway than some other states which follow the same general principle. 

“Make My Day”  

Indeed, Colorado’s self-defense law is often referred to as the “Make My Day” law. You can find it’ details in Section 18-1-704.5 of the state’s Criminal Code. Here it states that you can legally use force (even deadly force) against one who had entered into your home unlawfully and has committed (or had given you a reason to believe they will commit) violence or a crime against you, your family or your property, no matter how slight that crime may be. Acting lawfully under this statute makes you immune to criminal or civil liability. 

You can learn more about defending yourself against criminal charges by continuing to explore our site.