Self-defense law involving lethal force gives Pennsylvanians more rights

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – State Rep. Stephen Bloom began serving the 199th District in 2010 and says the Castle Doctrine was one of the first big pieces of legislation he supported.

“If you are under a serious threat of bodily harm or death, you can defend yourself with lethal force,” Bloom said. “This includes your home or any situation where you lawfully belong, including your car or on a sidewalk. You can defend yourself.”

Defense attorney Jay Abom says with the Castle Doctrine, people have more rights.

“When you are facing a risk of death or bodily injury in your home, you don’t have to retreat,” Abom said. “And if you are in your car or in a parking lot, you don’t have to retreat if you feel threatened. You can defend yourself.”

Bloom says a threat can be in many forms.

“It is not just with a gun,” he said. “Someone can have a pipe or a knife. If you feel your life is in danger, you can use lethal force to defend yourself or your family.”

Abom says self-defense cases involving lethal force take time to resolve.

“A good district attorney will look at all the evidence, including witness testimony,” he said. “If it goes to trial, a jury or judge will have to determine based on the evidence if the actions were justified.”

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