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09/25/2009 05:18:38 PM · #1
In the US, if you find an intruder in your home, are you allowed to kill them? - Or is there some law around using reasonable force?
09/25/2009 05:28:08 PM · #2
Well I believe the general idea is that you have the right to defend yourself even if that means the use of deadly force. If someone breaks into your home and you believe your life or the life of one of your family members is in danger you have the right to use deadly force.

I'm in no way a lawyer and it could be different in each state, it would be best to ask legal counsel in matters such as this.

Message edited by author 2009-09-25 17:28:37.
09/25/2009 05:39:53 PM · #3
I was curious. There have been a lot of break-ins in the UK lately targetting professional footballers homes while they're away at matches. They've been issued some advice that it's okay to use a reasonable force to defend themselves if they encounter a burglar.

However, it also said that they could be prosecuted if it's determined that they used excessive force. So it seems to be a very grey area.

Here in Ireland, a farmer was convicted of manslaughter a few years ago for shooting dead a burglar with a shotgun who broke into his house. Farmers are the only people here who are legally allowed to own firearms (apart from the police)

As for me. Well, a couple of years ago I heard some noises downstairs in my house, and went down and there was a guy standing in the middle of the kitchen with his arms full of goodies. He made a run for it. But tbh, I'm not sure what I'd have done if he ran towards me instead of away from me! I didn't have time to phone my solicitor to check... :-p
09/25/2009 05:51:30 PM · #4
Originally posted by JH:

In the US, if you find an intruder in your home, are you allowed to kill them? -


yes, this is why i hanged a big nude of myself at the entrance.

//jus joking .
09/25/2009 06:00:43 PM · #5
If the intruder threatens you with bodily harm through actions and you defend yourself, excessive is usually not a consideration unless you mutilate or go bat shit on them as opposed to just shooting them in the leg or face or something. However, if you come home and the burglar is sitting on your couch eating ice cream or asleep in your bed, shooting him would probably be considered excessive force. (and all three of those instances were recently in the news)
09/25/2009 06:16:56 PM · #6
I think it depends on the state you live in, here in Missouri they passed a law called the Castle Law where you are allowed to defend you castle with force even if there was no threat of bodily harm. Personally, I think finding someone in your home is the ultimate threat, you have no idea what their intentions are and they are not supposed to be there so I would do what it takes to remove that threat including killing that person. Doesn't mean I wouldn't go to jail though, not these days. I think it depends on the extent of what you do as well, if you shoot them once and they hit the ground and are disabled and then you walk up to them and fire another few rounds into their body then you are asking for trouble legally.
09/25/2009 06:17:35 PM · #7
just make sure the intruder doesn't trip on anything and get hurt before he decides to attack you
09/25/2009 06:35:52 PM · #8
In the State of Georgia, USA the following applies.

Georgia Law regarding use of force in home defense-

O.C.G.A. 16-3-23. Use of force in defense of habitation

A person is justified in threatening or using force against another when and to the extent that he or she reasonably believes that such threat or force is necessary to prevent or terminate such other's unlawful entry into or attack upon a habitation; however, such person is justified in the use of force which is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm only if:

(1) The entry is made or attempted in a violent and tumultuous manner and he or she reasonably believes that the entry is attempted or made for the purpose of assaulting or offering personal violence to any person dwelling or being therein and that such force is necessary to prevent the assault or offer of personal violence;

(2) That force is used against another person who is not a member of the family or household and who unlawfully and forcibly enters or has unlawfully and forcibly entered the residence and the person using such force knew or had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry occurred; or

(3) The person using such force reasonably believes that the entry is made or attempted for the purpose of committing a felony therein and that such force is necessary to prevent the commission of the felony.

O.C.G.A 16-3-23.1. No duty to retreat prior to use of force in self-defense

A person who uses threats or force in accordance with Code Section 16-3-21, relating to the use of force in defense of self or others, Code Section 16-3-23, relating to the use of force in defense of a habitation, or Code Section 16-3-24, relating to the use of force in defense of property other than a habitation, has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and use force as provided in said Code sections, including deadly force.

O.C.G.A. 16-3-24.1. Habitation and personal property defined

As used in Code Sections 16-3-23 and 16-3-24, the term "habitation" means any dwelling, motor vehicle, or place of business, and "personal property" means personal property other than a motor vehicle.

O.C.G.A 16-3-24.2. Immunity from prosecution; exception

A person who uses threats or force in accordance with Code Section 16-3-21, 16-3-23, 16-3-23.1, or 16-3-24 shall be immune from criminal prosecution therefor unless in the use of deadly force, such person utilizes a weapon the carrying or possession of which is unlawful by such person under Part 2 or 3 of Article 4 of Chapter 11 of this title.
09/25/2009 06:53:43 PM · #9
I love that there was that one fella in texas who shot the 2 mexican dudes that stole his neighbors tv, and was found innocent. He was on the phone with 911 and told them, im gonna go get em, and then you hear him "Freeze or your dead" and then bang bang. I think he killed em both?
09/25/2009 07:48:28 PM · #10
In a related story...
09/25/2009 08:25:34 PM · #11
Related Story from the previous week(Warning! Article contains some graphic details)
09/25/2009 08:38:29 PM · #12
Originally posted by JH:

In the US, if you find an intruder in your home, are you allowed to kill them? - Or is there some law around using reasonable force?


As others indicated it depends on the state and the situation. Defending one's life is almost always ok but it must be an immediate threat. In Texas you can use deadly force to defend your property. In NC where I live there is a requirement that you must attempt to retreat if threatened in your own house. Most DA's will ignore this requirement if it's a valid case of self-defense. I will attempt to retreat if someone breaks into my house at night but I hope they don't mind if I shoot in their direction as I retreat. LOL

The most important thing to keep in mind is not to confuse a family member, or co-inhabitant with someone breaking in. Tragedy will follow. I have a baseball bat that is under my bed. Many times I've grabbed it instead of a gun. Once released a bullet will do it's work. You can choke up a bit on the bat and pull your hit to keep from killing someone you know. LOL Most of those who've lived with me had hard enough heads they'd have survived a full hit from the bat. Maybe even break it. LOL
09/25/2009 08:40:44 PM · #13
Originally posted by Art Roflmao:

In a related story...


Darn, that was a good one. How'd you find that one ART?
09/25/2009 08:47:38 PM · #14
Here in GA and AL if someone steps on to your property and you feel that your life is in danger you have every right to shoot to kill.

We have a firm here that calls the rock station every Thursday at 4pm that allows people to call in and ask questions. One of them was this question in general. You are legally allowed to kill someone ONLY in the event you feel like you or your family is in danger.
09/25/2009 09:10:36 PM · #15
Florida is a shoot now, ask questions later state. : ) It does work to help keep crime down.
In places where the burglars know that the law would have the law abiding citizens disarmed, his jobs are much easier and safer.
If they don't know if his victims will be armed and allowed to use force, then they are hesitant about breaking into places and homes.
Armed citizens are citizens. Disarmed citizens are subjects. History has shown this over and over.
677574.jpg

09/25/2009 09:28:51 PM · #16
In New Hampshire you can use deadly force on your property or your automobile (even if the vehicle is not on your property). Then of course our state motto is, "Live free or die." We take that pretty seriously up here.
09/25/2009 09:36:06 PM · #17
Out here in the west, errr the real west, excluding those pacific costal states. The general consensus is make sure the creep is inside your house, then shoot to kill not injure (dead men canít sue) . Although I canít find them right now, NRA had hundreds of articles of court related cases that proved it.

Edit..Oops

Message edited by author 2009-09-25 22:02:11.
09/25/2009 09:54:55 PM · #18
edited to edit the edit that I had already edited

Message edited by author 2009-09-26 12:27:39.
09/25/2009 11:47:05 PM · #19
Here in Pennsylvania, if you shoot 'em on your property, drag 'em INSIDE the house!
09/25/2009 11:52:32 PM · #20
In Louisiana it is now legal to shoot and kill someone that is breaking into your house. They no longer have to be in your house for you to shoot them. Also your car is an extention of your home...so carjackers beware...I carry a 45 in my truck just for this reason. No permit needed
09/25/2009 11:54:53 PM · #21
LMAO all gun laws are is job security for criminals
09/26/2009 12:40:01 AM · #22
Tension buster:
Hand Gun Training
09/26/2009 01:37:38 AM · #23
Originally posted by MelonMusketeer:

Florida is a shoot now, ask questions later state. : ) It does work to help keep crime down.
In places where the burglars know that the law would have the law abiding citizens disarmed, his jobs are much easier and safer.
If they don't know if his victims will be armed and allowed to use force, then they are hesitant about breaking into places and homes.
Armed citizens are citizens. Disarmed citizens are subjects. History has shown this over and over.


Really?

Message edited by author 2009-09-26 01:38:03.
09/26/2009 03:27:49 PM · #24
Originally posted by BeeCee:



Really?


Crime statistics are notoriously inaccurate. What the site you're showing actually indicates is the states with the best reporting methods. I very seriously doubt that New York and New Jersey have less incidents of burglary than North Carolina.
09/26/2009 04:56:45 PM · #25
Yeah, the other sites I looked at had Florida in various rankings in the top 10. That one was just the prettiest :)
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