Dwelling Defense Law and Legal Definition

Dwelling defense allows a person to use force while protecting his/her place of abode, its premises and its inhabitants from attack. It is based on the old English principle that “One’s home is one's castle and entitled to defense”. People are allowed to use some degree of force to protect oneself, one’s household and dwelling house from attack. However, this right should not be used as a weapon. The force used for protection must be reasonably necessary under the circumstances to deter an intruder. When an attack arises, an occupant must attempt to escape first. Force can be used only in unavoidable circumstances.