The Castle Law Doctrine a common law doctrine of ancient origins which declares that a home is a person's castle.
The Pennsylvania Legislature suggested we modify the exists laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania based on the following concepts:
1) a home is a person's castle
2) Pennsylvania guarantees that the "right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State shall not be questioned."
3) people have a right to expect to remain unmolested within their homes or vehicles.
4) no person should be required to surrender his or her personal safety to a criminal
5) no person should be required to needlessly retreat in the face of intrusion or attack outside the person's home or vehicle.
As a result the following modifications to Title 18 were enacted to, in essence, provides that a person no longer needs to retreat if the that person is not engaged in a criminal activity; not in possession of an illegal weapon; the person acting has a right to be in the place where he was attacked; the person acting believes it is immediately necessary to do so to protect himself against death, serious bodily injury, kidnapping or sexual intercourse by force or threat; and the person against whom the force is used displays or otherwise uses a firearm (or replica of a firearm) or any other weapon capable of lethal force.
The law now has a presumption that deadly force is immediately necessary to protect himself against death, serious bodily injury, kidnapping or sexual intercourse compelled by force or threat if the person against whom the force is used is in the process of unlawfully and forcefully entering a dwelling, residence or occupied vehicle; has unlawfully and forcefully entered a dwelling, residence or occupied vehicle; or is or is attempting to unlawfully and forcefully remove another against that other's will from the dwelling, residence or occupied vehicle and the person acting knows or has reason to believe that the unlawful and forceful entry or act is occurring or has occurred.
As legislatures tend to do, there are exceptions to the presumption. The presumption does not apply if the person against whom the force is used has the right to be in the dwelling, residence or vehicle; is a lawful resident of the dwelling, residence or vehicle; is a child or grandchild or is otherwise in the lawful custody or under the lawful guardianship of the person; if both parties are engaged in a criminal activity or is using the dwelling, residence or occupied vehicle to further a criminal activity. Of course, you cannot use this presumption against a peace officer acting in the performance of his official duties and the actor using force knew or reasonably should have known that the person was a peace officer.
A nice addition to the law provides if the person using force satisfies the requirements of the law regarding force and prevails in a civil action initiated by or on behalf of a perpetrator against the actor, the court shall award reasonable expenses to the actor. Reasonable expenses shall include, but not be limited to, attorney fees, expert witness fees, court costs and compensation for loss of income.