View Full Version : home defence question. need opinions
July 22, 2009, 08:39 PM
Lets say you catch someone breaking into your personal property, (house, barn, vehicle). And he is not a threat, can you still threaten him to beat it at gun point or leave the gun out of it? Are there big legality issues with this?
same scenario as above:
Can you legaly detain him at gunpoint until authorities arrive?
I live in Indiana havnt had any problems to date but there is alot of talk on here about shooting but not so much about if you dont have to shoot what to do from there.
July 22, 2009, 09:08 PM
First place to check is Indianas laws. Do a google search and the answer should pop up.
July 22, 2009, 09:17 PM
I'm from Virginia, and I am NOT a lawyer. It is my understanding that we cannot use lethal force, or the threat of it, unless we are in reasonable, appropriate, fear for serious bodily harm, or for our life, or fear for the life of some person whom we have a duty to protect (wife, kids, etc.). :confused:
We can not use lethal force or the threat of it to terminate a burglary, for example. If I wake up and find some creep walking out the door with my TV, the best thing I can do is to turn on the front porch light so the creep doesn't trip and drop my TV. :(
If this sounds ridiculous, it is. I don't really know what I would do if I caught somebody in the act of stealing or vandalizing my property. Depends upon whether they are coming in or going out. Dial 911, of course. Yell STOP! of course. Shoot? Not unless I, or my wife, or my kids really are in serious danger.
Also, I know I can not "apprehend" a suspect by gunfire. Cops can, I can't.
July 22, 2009, 09:55 PM
The Police are just minutes away when seconds count. Their job is to take down the results of crime, not prevent it. Holding someone at gunpoint following what you may have seen them do can be trumped up to false imprionsment. So basically unless they point something at you, get a good picture of them and let them go, unless they have already done bodily harm to you or someone in your care. Your Mileage in this case will widely vary. No one is leaving my presence if I see them causing harm to me or my loved ones. Read all that into what you want to.. Dead perps cannot testify in court. And the castle laws in many states fend off the civil issues. You gotta know where you stand before any action.
I am not a lawyer and do not play one on TV, but I do have a very good Lawyer on retainer and Home Umbrella Insurance Policy that covers crap that can happen in my home.
July 22, 2009, 10:28 PM
Are there big legality issues with this?You bet there are!
All of this has pretty much been beaten to death on a similar post:
The bottom line of that whole discussion was:
You have insurance (don't you?) to cover the cost of your property. The purpose of a gun in the hands of a civilian is for the protection of your life (or someone else's), not to uphold or enforce the law.
July 23, 2009, 04:40 AM
Brotherinlaw got his fence graffitied for the umpteenth time but this time the 23 year old low life made the mistake of shaking the aerosol can before he started Spraying , just shows what a dumb ass he was. The noise woke my Nephew who is a college football player, he caught the guy in the act of spraying and decided to empty the can of paint all over the culprits head so there he was laying there with a semi permanent blaze orange hairstyle. After they had their fun with the guy my sister called 111 to get the police over, the response was "well we're kind of busy right now we may have a car there in three or four hours time" to that my sister replied well "my husband and son have the guy pinned down and if you dont have a car here in five minutes you are going to have a corpse on your hands" about 4 minutes later a police car showed up and took all the details but then they were talking about charging my nephew with assault.
With several other similar cases pending the police decided not to prosecute my nephew but the offender was sentenced to 150hours community service and given a $200 fine $100 of which was compensation.
July 23, 2009, 09:36 AM
Legal issues up the ying-yang.
In most states (check your local gun laws) you are NOT allowed to shoot unless you feel in imminent danger of loss of life or grave bodily injury. You can usually NOT shoot to protect property. That being said, if there's only one side of the story to be told...you can conjure up anything.
Hold him at gun point? Could be kidnapping, false detainment, and a couple other things. Could also be termed "use of deadly force". In SC, pointing a gun (doesn't have to be fired) is considered "use of deadly force". If he runs away from you and your gun, you CAN NOT shoot!
July 23, 2009, 10:14 AM
Inside your house? Maybe, but Virginia does not have a "castle doctrine (http://tekel.wordpress.com/2007/10/09/the-castle-doctrine-a-state-by-state-summary/)". Most states do. It is imperitive that you know the laws in your state before using a deadly weapon for any reason whatsoever.
July 23, 2009, 10:59 AM
While doing a Google Search for your local laws is good I would urge you to talk with a local attorney to find out what the mood of the court is.
As Evan Marshall says, "The law is what the local prosecutor says it is."
While carrying two guns, or three is legal in some localities, one former prosecutor charged a man with a crime because he carried a BUG. Bear in mind the BUG was not used to shoot his attacker, but it was a big deal in deciding to charge the gentleman with a crime, and a big deal at his trial.
Thankfully this gentleman won in court, but at a costly price, as it was an otherwise "justified" shooting. As Massad Ayoob says, "The only good gunfight is the one in which no shots are fired."
July 23, 2009, 02:49 PM
Some states go by the common law which says basically that if someone breaks into or forces his way into your home you may presume that he is a danger to you and/or your family. The basic concept is that you can presume he is armed since no one forcibly enters a home without being armed.
Unlawful entry is a bit more of a gray area; a person who walks into a home through an unlocked door might have made a mistake or be confused in some way, and using deadly force would generally not be justified unless the entrant displays a weapon or makes threats.
July 23, 2009, 07:03 PM
Rule of thumb I was taught was if you could not see his eyes and you could not see a weapon you were not in danger and you cannot shoot even though the bad guy is walking out the door with your microwave and it is stuffed full of Aunt Minnies collection of antique diamond rings worth half a million.
July 23, 2009, 07:34 PM
<< from Indiana, you could be charged with criminal recklessness, waving a gun around, best bet is too call the cops and turn on lights and maybe yell out a window "I'm calling the cops" then also call the ins. guy.
if he's breaking into your house, being in side pointing a gun OUT at him might deter him from contuining.
July 24, 2009, 06:44 PM
Rule of thumb I was taught was if you could not see his eyes and you could not see a weapon you were not in danger and you cannot shoot even though the bad guy is walking out the door with your microwave and it is stuffed full of Aunt Minnies collection of antique diamond rings worth half a million. But in that case, it would be pretty easy to tackle him and beat hell outta him, while somebody else holds the gun for you.:D
July 25, 2009, 01:34 AM
move to Florida,we dont allow that
July 25, 2009, 03:31 AM
As stated many times above: Check your local and state laws. If your state has what is commonly known as a "Castle Doctrine" you should be able to do exactly as stated above. If it does not you "legally" probably have to at least attempt to escape the situation.
In great states such as Florida and Texas, someone is in your house, and you do NOT want them there, especially if the sun has set, you can use legally use lethal force simply for them being present in your home. So in such states, the senario you described above would be perfectly legal.
No matter where you live, or what the laws are, if it is a situation where you know you will or can NOT use lethal force, don't even go for the gun.
July 25, 2009, 03:50 AM
But in that case, it would be pretty easy to tackle him and beat hell outta him, while somebody else holds the gun for you.
And as much as I feel the same way, that is a whole 'nother can of legal worms you do not want to open. Knock said microwave out of his hand but don't start the scuffle. Once they throw the punch at you, so long as you have not touched them before they start swinging you should be ok, but to even getting close to them is a dangerous situation since a physical fight can swing either way and luck has a lot to do with it.
July 25, 2009, 07:35 AM
It all boils down to the statement you make to the police when its all over. If you have a scuffle with a thief or shoot someone trying to break into your home, you need to develope your story, even lie if you have to to save your own sikn. I get bashed when I say this but when it comes to the bad guy and me, I'll fight dirty as well as play dirty. If you shoot someone in the process of them committing a crime, better tell them you saw what looked like a weapon being drawn on you or you saw the flash of a piece of metal. In the end the jury would rather believe you than the perp so take advantage of it.
If it comes down to you using force on the bad guy, talk to an attorney before you make a statement. You will be better off.
Glenn E. Meyer
July 25, 2009, 12:31 PM
Dead perps cannot testify in court.
1. Let's move beyond cliches that are bad advice. It is wrong on many levels.
2. The OP needs to consult and/or take classes on local laws.
3. Detaining someone is again a local issue. Think about what you would do if the BG just walked away? We've discussed that endlessly.
If you shoot someone in the process of them committing a crime, better tell them you saw what looked like a weapon being drawn on you or you saw the flash of a piece of metal. In the end the jury would rather believe you than the perp so take advantage of it.
I humbly suggest that you don't say anything like this till you talk to your lawyer. Next, suggesting a deliberately lie and/or lying is illegal. We don't recommend such at TFL.
The OP needs to study up - get books from folks like Mas Ayoob, take his or similar courses.
Don't listen to internet advice that suggests dead men tell no tales or to lie. The latter served the Pharmacist well, didn't it - search on.
So avoid other advice that is not useful, I'm closing this one. I would also advise folks that we want reasonably thought out advice.
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