When to stand your ground a tricky topic - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

When to stand your ground a tricky topic

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It wasn't long ago one would have to attempt to escape a threat but for the past several years a person doesn't have to first try and escape they can defend their ground immediately. South Carolina's Castle Doctrine is basically a hybrid of other state's Stand Your Ground Law.

Gun shop owners like ATP's Arlin Pendergast says the legal issues are still a concern among buyers due to the recent high profile cases.

"We've had more questions on it but it something around here we try inform people of the law what you can and can't do."

Being in your home is home is one thing, anywhere else is another. The state's Castle Doctrine puts special emphasis on the home and more recently a person's business or vehicle.

Local attorney and former SC Attorney General, Charlie Condon says it's can sometimes be a very slippery slope...

"If you are engaged in lawful activity in a lawful spot and if your belief is reasonable that you are in fear of great bodily injury, of course that's a high standard, and or losing your life, I think the statute allows you to use deadly force in limited circumstances. You're not in your home, not in your car, not in your business, I think the odds of you getting arrested is extremely high."

Condon says if you are found innocent for instances that are not clear cut with the Castle Doctrine such as outside of the home business or vehicle there is will first have to be the arrest then the legal proceedings. It will be a very time consuming and costly process for the person who decided to use deadly force. The legal advice is if you have a chance to retreat, take it.

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