Originally Posted by WiskyT
The term "Castle Doctrine" is misunderstood by many people I think. The way it is being used recently means to extend the concept of CD to outside the "castle". So, NC and NJ, two states I know about, don't have "Castle Doctrine" laws as people refer to them today, meaning you are obligated to retreat, if possible, outside the home, but in reality, the concept of Castle Doctrine in it's true sense still applies to the "castle" (home). In NJ, as long as it is actually a self-defense situation, the concept of CD applies in the home.
That brings up your point about circumstances. If a homeowner shoots a buddy over a gambling debt in his home and claims castle doctrine, he still has a problem since it really isn't a self defense situation. But if some burglar comes in your house while you're there, you can pretty much blast him without further justification.
Right. In your home (in Castle states) you are not required to try and understand the complexities of the person's possible intent. You don't need to evaluate if you may be able to flee without being noticed or try to divine if the person will only take the tv, or if they will take the tv and rape your daughter.
You are allowed to defend your home from an intruder without having to know about their intent, as the invasion itself is justification. That does not mean we SHOULDN'T try to determine intent some times, or try to be careful to give someone a fair chance to explain. It's not wise to just shoot at every creak in the floor, and no one is suggesting that anyone should.
But to a large extent, you don't need to know if the drunk in your house at 2 am--who broke your window or door-- was there accidentally, was there to harm your family, or was there to steal medications, in order to be protected from civil and criminal punishment.
So in some ways, it is pretty simple.