What is a Duty to Retreat?
A Duty to Retreat, in its most extreme form, states that a person who is under an imminent threat of personal harm must make a reasonable effort to avoid confrontation, either by de-escalation or an attempt to leave the area in which the threat is occurring. The use of deadly force should be the last option. There is a duty to retreat in Washington, D.C.
Several states impose the duty to retreat outside of the home but have a Castle Doctrine that covers self-defense within the home. The following states have both:
- Maryland (excluding the city of Baltimore)
- New Jersey
- New York
- Rhode Island