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3 Critical Stand Your Ground Rules in Colorado

In Colorado, instead of ‘Stand Your Ground’, the only thing we have is a self-defense statute. That statute really examines everyone’s conduct based upon the “reasonable person standard.” It is a very specific analysis that deals with and examines the reasonableness of your conduct and what you were thinking at the time of defending yourself or a third person. There is no such thing as ‘Stand Your Ground’ in Colorado, so you need to be very clear about that. Now, there is the castle doctrine in Colorado, but castle doctrine is not ‘Stand Your Ground’; it is not ‘Make My Day’.

What the castle doctrine says is that if you are in your residence and there is an intruder and that intruder, who is an uninvited guest, is either committing a crime or is about to commit a crime, and you think that they’re going to use an amount of force, no matter how slight, against yourself or someone else in the home, you’re allowed to use deadly force to protect yourself or any third parties. The judge makes a determination of whether or not your conduct fits within those specific elements. If you do, you have immunity from criminal and civil liability. If the judge says, “No, it doesn’t qualify,” then you proceed to trial and you would present a self-defense claim to the jury. So, the castle doctrine is decided by the judge; the self-defense statute is decided by a jury.

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