I’ve got a great topic for you today and an interesting topic which many people think of it. We all intuitively know this and what’s the difference between self-defense or protecting another person in the States versus Canada, and this doesn’t necessarily apply to all states, but many states I’ll say especially could use the example of Texas, but many states. So there’s fundamental differences. First of all, shall we say that the US is much more liberal at applying self-defense. You can defend yourself more easily than you can in Canada and there’s two fundamental differences. I’ll use the example of Texas which is a very liberal state as you know. You can carry guns there. Firearms are legal and many homeowners have weapons as you know. So what’s the first doctrine? Well, the first doctrine is stand your ground. In the States if you’re in a situation where you’re being attacked, you have absolutely no duty to retreat. You can stand your ground and defend yourself. And you know, defend yourself and potentially win your case if you acted in self-defense. So, stand your ground is a very firm, no duty retreat in the states. Canada is a little different and we don’t we can stand our ground. There’s no absolute duty to retreat but the kind of nebulous little thing here is under Section 34(2) of the Criminal Code in our case law, whether there was a real opportunity to retreat is something a judge can take into consideration in determining whether your actions were reasonable in self-defense. Pretty airy fairy thing isn’t that but, you know, if there was a real opportunity to retreat, then you might not be successful in your self defense. But in many cases, that opportunity to retreat is just a fleeting thing. The fact you didn’t take it is not gonna affect the Judge. What if you had five minutes to retreat during a developing argument which people are pushing each other? Maybe the judge won’t grant your self defense in Canada. So that’s the difference on stand your ground and duty retreat versus the States. We can stand our ground but be careful.  If you have an opportunity to retreat get the hell out of there. Please don’t be a hero. Leave your ego at home. No use getting it fisticuff with another person defending yourself because either you’re gonna get charged, you’re gonna get hurt, or, you know, they’re gonna get hurt and wind up in to jail maybe even though you’re innocent. So that’s not a good thing. So that’s stand your ground laws. 

Now, the castle doctrine. That’s an interesting doctrine in the States. That doesn’t apply in Canada at all either. In the castle doctrine in the states, in Texas, for example and many other states, not all states, not all states are the same.  A man or woman’s in charge of their castle. So if an intruder breaks in, they’re allowed to use lethal force to kill them and they can do. So don’t break in Texas. Burglars a bad occupation to have in Texas because you’re going to get shot and killed. We don’t have the castle doctrine. We have to act reasonably in the circumstances in Canada to protect yourself in self defense or your property and use proportional force and reasonableness which is a far more conservative approach then they have in Texas where people get shot on sit let’s face it. 

So but one important thing about our home, there’s no, we can stand our ground at home, there’s no duty to retreat, and the judge cannot take into consideration in Canada that you had an opportunity to repeat so you could at least protect your home, stand your ground and protect yourself but I’ll tell people this though, I mean, if you’re in a home and it’s getting broken into and you can get the hell out and phone the police do it.  Get out of the home or call from within the home because there’s no use confronting a burglar who has a potential knife or gun even though we can stand our ground at home is it really a smart thing to do in the middle of the night where you potentially get killed? So I would recommend I think the police do if you can get out of the home to do it and call the police safely from outside of the home right away and protect yourself at all cost. You know don’t be the hero, leave check your ego at home at the bar see if there’s no use having to eventually call a criminal lawyer and win two years later that hey, I successfully defended myself after spending thousands of dollars and stress for two years. So there’s some differences, some major differences between many of the US states not all and Canada. I don’t profess to be an expert on U.S., but that’s just some general propositions particularly I focus more on Texas, but many states have similar laws. 

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