“Castle Doctrine” bill clears Virginia House of Delegates

Posted at 8:50 AM, Feb 09, 2012
and last updated 2012-02-10 11:17:42-05

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – A bill allowing people to protect their homes, by any means necessary, cleared the House of Delegates Thursday.

House Bill 48, known as the “Castle Doctrine” bill,  allows homeowners to use physical, even deadly force against intruders, without civil liability.

Lawmakers voted 70-28 to pass the proposed legislation, introduced by Delegate Richard “Dickie” Bell (R-Staunton).

The bill justifies force in cases where the intruder “committed an overt act toward the occupant or another person in the dwelling,” and the homeowner has reason to believe that he or others inside are “in imminent danger of bodily injury”.

The Senate passed similar legislation last week.

There is already a  long-standing provision of the “Castle  Doctrine” that protects Virginians from criminal prosecution in such cases.