New Hampshire does not have a Stand Your Ground law. Stand Your Ground laws, also known as “castle doctrine” laws, grant individuals the right to use deadly force in self-defense without first attempting to retreat from a dangerous situation. These laws vary from state to state, but they generally provide that a person is not required to retreat from a place where they are lawfully present if they are attacked.
In New Hampshire, there is no statutory law that explicitly establishes a Stand Your Ground doctrine. However, the state does have a long-standing case law precedent that recognizes the right to self-defense. In the 1819 case of State v. Symonds, the New Hampshire Supreme Court held that a person attacked in their own home or business has no duty to retreat before using deadly force in self-defense. This principle has been upheld in subsequent cases, and it is generally understood that individuals in New Hampshire have the right to use deadly force in self-defense if they reasonably believe that they are in imminent danger of serious bodily harm or death.
However, New Hampshire law also imposes a duty to retreat if it is safe to do so. This means that if a person is attacked in a public place, they must first try to escape before using deadly force. If they cannot escape, they may then use deadly force to defend themselves.
The absence of a Stand Your Ground law in New Hampshire does not mean that individuals are prohibited from using deadly force in self-defense. However, it does mean that they must be careful to avoid using excessive force and that they must be able to demonstrate that they were acting in self-defense.