It most certainly is. Precedents often cross state lines, particularly when
lawyers and judges are discussing theory as opposed to code. This is how
existing laws are reinterpreted. This is why a drunk driver who kills
someone can be charged with first degree murder in one locale but not in
another, simply because the judge and the grand jury felt it made sense.
Post your question in rec.guns. You'll receive a wealth of links to legal
information and history. I saved some from the last time I saw this question
answered. I'll find them for you over the weekend.
There are two assumptions you can make about an intruder:
1) They are armed and dangerous.
2) They are not armed and dangerous.
Without physically searching the intruder, only an idiot makes the 2nd
No. Call your lawyer. No matter how many links I provide for you, you will
consider them to be suspect. Your lawyer should not charge you for a 3
As I mentioned earlier, you cannot prove an intruder is NOT a threat without
getting dangerously close to him - something the police recommend against.
Really? You challenged my statement about home invasions being really
rare. I countered with statistics based on the county where you live,
showing that the chances of you being involved in one are approximately
one in a million. I note that you haven't replied to that post...
As has been stated by others, the "castle theory" only applies in some
areas of the USA. In other words, there are some places in the USA where
you can kill a burglar simply because they've broken into your home, on
the assumption that they're a threat. In other places, doing the same
action will result in a murder charge and conviction. I think that
pretty much sums up the conversation, and I'm willing to leave it at
There's no need to waste valuable weekend time digging up stats. I read and
listen to the news here. I recall 4 or 5 in the past several years. Only one
involved victims and invaders who knew each other - a drug situation, in
It is state by state. Once you get away from the "Blue" states you find there
are "castle" states (A man's home is his castle).
You do not have the "obligation of retreat" (you do not have to avoid a deadly
force confrontation) in your own home.
This is not a blanket OK to shoot any intruder but if you can demontsate any
fear of "imminent threat of personal harm" you will get away with shooting.
If you live in the north east the law may seem more like UK . They have the
obligation of retreat, in your home. You must demonstrate that the intruder was
preventing you from running away.
You get a pretty good overview with the education course that comes with the
concealed weapon license in the 38 states that let you carry.
The individual state laws are available on many web sites. Packing.org or
NRA.org will get you started.
Even in the NE (I live in NY), it varies quite a bit based on locale. In
many places, the attitude of judges & juries is that when you enter
someone's home to steal (or worse), you accept the risks involved. Oh well.
Actually, I don't need to find case law for you. Do a google search using
the words "self defense castle doctrine". In the results, look for URLs
beginning with this:
You'll have PLENTY of interesting reading this weekend.
Simple: "Please leave now, or I will call the police." 99.9% of
burglars, given the option, will leave.
The next step would be to figure out why my doors weren't locked, and why
my alarm didn't go off.
No such statistic exists, but it reflects common sense. If the burglar
refuses to leave when confronted, then force may be necessary. It seems
far more sensible to ASK the person to leave before pulling out a weapon
and threatening them.
Also, if you "happen" to come upon a burglar in your home, especially at
3:00am, the chances of the burglar being armed are much greater than the
chances of you being armed. Or do you wear a holster on your pajamas?
Ask???? That is the funniest thing I've read in a long time.
Oh Sir, this is my house. Perhaps you meant to break in to some other
house. Would you please leave?
Here, take a snack with you so you don't get hungry on the way home.
Should you call them a cab?
Ok, perhaps telling them is more accurate. "Leave now or I'm calling the
police" gives the intruder the option of leaving without getting caught
by the police or getting hurt. If you were the intruder, wouldn't it be
the option you're going to take?
Or would you rather ask them to stand still while you go looking for a
weapon (notwithstanding the fact that they may already be armed...)?
Better.... Leave now the police are on the way (works best if an alarm
system has been tripped and loud noises are being heard).
Why give the robber the option of fighting you for control of the
I can do exactly that with the X-10 system. I have a bunch of lights
controlled by it. Some on timers, some manual. All timers can be
I like the button for "all lights on" when I hear a noise. Lights both in
and out of the house come on with one push of a button. I have two
controllers, one timer, one remote, and my car can turn two lights on. You
can turn the light on at one control, off at another or any combination.
Check out www.smarthome.com or www.x-10.com
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