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Castle Doctrine
Stand Your Ground
Duty to Retreat
Other Self-Defense Laws

Duty to Retreat States 2024

Duty to Retreat States 2024

In the realm of self-defense laws in the United States, the concept of "duty to retreat" refers to an individual's legal obligation to attempt to withdraw or retreat from a threatening situation before resorting to the use of force, especially deadly force. In states where the duty to retreat is mandated, individuals are required by law to make reasonable efforts to avoid confrontation and remove themselves from harm's way if possible, even if they are lawfully present in a public place.

The duty to retreat contrasts with the "stand your ground" and "castle doctrine" principles. In "stand your ground" states, individuals have no obligation to retreat and are legally permitted to use force, including deadly force, to defend themselves in any location where they have a legal right to be, as long as they reasonably believe such force is necessary to prevent imminent harm. On the other hand, the "castle doctrine" allows individuals to use force, including deadly force, to defend themselves within their own homes or other private spaces without any duty to retreat.

The use of the duty to retreat doctrine dates back centuries and has its roots in English common law. Its application in modern American jurisprudence varies from state to state, with some states adhering strictly to this principle, while others have adopted "stand your ground" or "castle doctrine" laws.

As indicated in the list provided, several states, including Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin, are classified as duty-to-retreat states. In these jurisdictions, individuals must attempt to retreat from a threatening situation if it is safe to do so before resorting to the use of force in self-defense. Conversely, states adopting the "stand your ground" or "castle doctrine" provide individuals with more legal leeway to defend themselves without first attempting to retreat.

Duty to Retreat States 2024

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Self Defense Laws
AlabamaStand Your Ground
AlaskaCastle Doctrine
ArizonaCastle Doctrine
ArkansasCastle Doctrine
CaliforniaStand Your Ground
ColoradoStand Your Ground
ConnecticutDuty to Retreat
DelawareDuty to Retreat
FloridaStand Your Ground
GeorgiaStand Your Ground
HawaiiDuty to Retreat
IdahoStand Your Ground
IllinoisStand Your Ground
IndianaCastle Doctrine
IowaCastle Doctrine
KansasStand Your Ground
KentuckyStand Your Ground
LouisianaStand Your Ground
MaineDuty to Retreat
MarylandDuty to Retreat
MassachusettsDuty to Retreat
MichiganCastle Doctrine
MinnesotaDuty to Retreat
MississippiCastle Doctrine
MissouriCastle Doctrine
MontanaCastle Doctrine
NebraskaDuty to Retreat
NevadaCastle Doctrine
New HampshireCastle Doctrine
New JerseyDuty to Retreat
New MexicoStand Your Ground
New YorkDuty to Retreat
North CarolinaCastle Doctrine
North DakotaCastle Doctrine
OhioCastle Doctrine
OklahomaStand Your Ground
OregonStand Your Ground
PennsylvaniaStand Your Ground
Rhode IslandDuty to Retreat
South CarolinaStand Your Ground
South DakotaCastle Doctrine
TennesseeCastle Doctrine
TexasCastle Doctrine
UtahCastle Doctrine
VermontStand Your Ground
VirginiaStand Your Ground
WashingtonStand Your Ground
West VirginiaCastle Doctrine
WisconsinDuty to Retreat
WyomingCastle Doctrine
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