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Curious citizens learn their rights when they defend themselves

DRIGGS, Idaho (KIFI)- A curious public filled the auditorium at the Teton School District Building in Driggs, to learn about their rights in the case that they will need to defend themselves in a terrible situation. The forum was held by the prosecuting attorneys of Bonneville and Teton Counties.

"What made me want to come out in the first place is is because my son had an experience in told to tell of a couple of months ago where someone broke into his house. They broke the door down and he did have to use a firearm to get the guy out of the house. And so I was really curious about what is the Castle Doctrine and what are the current laws? Our son did everything right. The police thought he was great, but I wanted to know for myself," said Janine Jolley.

The Castle doctrine is someones right to defend them selves when an intruder is trying to enter into their place of residence. In the state of Idaho it also extends to when a person is inside their car and someone is trying to violently enter their car without permission.

Prosecuting Attorney for Teton County Bailey Smith, says the forum was meant to be more informative than providing legal advice. "This isn't meant to create an attorney client relationship between any of the forum participants and the office of the prosecuting attorney here or in Bonneville. But we're just providing general guidance as to some of the most common the most common things that we see wrong and trying to address some of the common questions that people have. This is by no means exhaustive, but it's just meant to hit the low hanging fruit and answer some of the common things that people want to know."

The forum came to be as many people in the area exercise their second amendment rights and the county's attorneys wanted to make sure people understood what they could do in a dangerous situation. And those in attendance were grateful for the efforts of the two attorneys.

"I feel like both the prosecutors really work together to teach us and educate us. So it was good," said Jolley. She added that she felt that many of the people wanted to understand what they could and couldn't do when they needed to defend themselves. "There's a big community of people that want to know. They want to know what their rights are and they want to understand the difference between constitutional rights and natural rights. We have a natural right to defend ourselves, and that comes from no government that comes from not. And so I think for me, I think there's a lot of people out there that don't want to understand and know that and learned about that issue."

The Smith says she was impressed by how many people wanted to be clear on their right to protect themselves when something dangerous comes up. "This was a really great crowd. We had lots of questions. They were all very sincere. One was, trying to pose anything wacky or play a game of gotcha or trying to get legal advice for something they shouldn't have done. It was just very, very encouraging to see a whole auditorium full of citizens who just want to educate themselves and make sure that they're staying within the bounds of the law when they're deciding their right to bear arms."

The main principles of self-defense that were covered were, 1) Is a crime about to be committed?, 2) Is someone about to be injured?, and 3) Is the level of force about to used necessary? They also mentioned the principle of reasonable fear, meaning people should react to the situation but also use the amount of force necessary to end a conflict.

Smith says that in Idaho these principles will be the same and won't change depending on where you live in the state, but how they are applied may change state by state.

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Braydon Wilson

Braydon is a reporter for Local News 8 and Eyewitness News 3.


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