711 West Moreland Boulevard, #100A, Waukesha, WI 53188
Facebook Twitter Linkedin


Bucher Law Group, LLC

Does Wisconsin Law Follow the “Castle Doctrine” in Gun Crime Cases?

 Posted on November 30, 2023 in Gun Violations

Untitled---2023-11-30T130907.619.jpgThe "castle doctrine" is a legal principle that allows people to use force, including deadly force, to defend themselves and their property within their own homes. It is based on the idea that a person's home is their castle and they have the right to protect it from intruders. Different states have implemented this principle as they have seen fit, implementing “stand your ground” laws and similar measures that are meant to protect the rights of firearm owners and ensure that they can defend themselves and their families.

Wisconsin law does recognize the castle doctrine, but with some important limitations. In Wisconsin, there are specific statutes that outline when an individual can use force in self-defense or defense of others. Even with these laws in place, there are situations where people could potentially face weapons charges or other types of criminal charges based on the use of firearms. If you have been charged with a crime in Milwaukee County, Waukesha County, or elsewhere in Wisconsin, an experienced attorney can provide you with legal representation as you defend against a conviction.

Self-Defense Laws in Wisconsin

In Wisconsin, self-defense laws are governed by Section 939.48 of the Wisconsin Statutes. Section 895.62 also provides people with immunity from civil liability if they use deadly force against someone entering their home, place of business, or motor vehicle. According to these laws:

  • A person may use force against someone else if they reasonably believe it is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to themselves or someone else.

  • A person may not intentionally use force intended or likely to cause death unless they have a reasonable belief that this level of force is necessary to prevent themselves or others from being seriously injured or killed.

  • A person who uses force in self-defense has no duty to retreat before using such force if they are inside their own dwelling, business, or motor vehicle.

This means that under certain circumstances, people in Wisconsin can use deadly force without first attempting to retreat if they are inside their own home, a business they own, or a car. 

Limits on the Castle Doctrine

While Wisconsin recognizes the Castle Doctrine and allows for self-defense and defense of others, there are several important limitations:

  • The person must reasonably believe that using deadly force is needed to prevent imminent bodily harm or death. This means that the person must have a genuine and reasonable fear for their safety or the safety of others.

  • The person cannot provoke or instigate the confrontation. If they do, they may lose their right to claim self-defense.

  • The person cannot use excessive force. They can only use as much force as is reasonably necessary to protect themselves or others.

In general, the castle doctrine applies if a person has attempted to forcibly enter a home, business, or vehicle where the person who used deadly force was present. The law will generally presume that deadly force was necessary in these situations, and a person may be immune from a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit if they can show that they reasonably believed that the force they used was necessary to prevent themselves or others from suffering imminent bodily harm or death.

Contact Our Waukesha County Weapons Charges Lawyer

If you are facing gun crime charges in Wisconsin, but you believe you acted reasonably in self-defense, it is crucial to consult with an experienced criminal defense lawyer who can help you navigate the complex laws that apply in your situation and build a strong defense on your behalf. At Bucher Law Group, LLC, we understand the intricacies of Wisconsin's self-defense laws, and we have successfully defended clients facing gun crime charges. Our skilled Racine County weapons charges defense attorney will fight to protect your rights and help you avoid a conviction. Contact us today at 262-303-4916 for a free consultation.

Share this post:
AVVO SuperLawyers BBB Thervo 2017 Martindale Hubbel City Voter List Criminal Defense Blog
Back to Top