View Full Version : home invasion, when is it okay to show force?

April 11, 2006, 12:37 AM
Well, never thought I may have to pick up a firearm in defense of people under my roof but the time may come. Let's pray it doesn't come to pass. But recently we've taken in a lady and child who were kicked out of their house by a fellow who IMHO really doesn't understand manhood or fatherhood. He's a boxer with a temper and may come to my house if he figures out where I live. I used to good with martial arts about 100lbs ago, but in my current shape I could lose my life in a struggle with him. The police are aware of the situation but won't intervene unless he actually does something--police stations are 8-15 miles from my house (PA State and Pocono Regional respectively). Also a restraining order, though not yet obtained, only works if he violates it--that's too late where I'm concerned, right?!
If he comes in my yard I'm telling him to leave through an open window. Still my question is if he comes to my home, when is it okay to to show force to get him to leave? I'm guessing it's okay to rack a shotgun if he kicks at my door, but is it really? What if he comes in against my wishes? Would I be guilty of brandishing if I pointed a loaded rifle at him and yelled 'leave'? If he forces my door but is unarmed, how far can I really go to stop him? Obviously if he gets in I'd have a sight on him and be yelling get out, stop, and such phrases. But can I really shoot to stop if he's unarmed, but forcefully enters and moves toward someone in my house? LEOs and those with experience or legal knowledge please share. Understand I don't want it to come to this, but it may.

April 11, 2006, 12:46 AM
Laws vary dramatically from state to state. You should check with your local authorities.

Glock 31
April 11, 2006, 12:47 AM
Armed or unarmed, (how are you going to know which) the second he steps into your house uninvited you should be cleared for lethal force. Uninvited being the key word.:cool:

April 11, 2006, 12:48 AM
You can use deadly force if you have a reasonable belief that your life is in danger. Whether it is justified or not is up to the court and jury. If he happened to have a knife in his hand or blatantly screams "I'm going to kill you" that is obvious self defense.

I'm just passing on what my CCW instructors told me

April 11, 2006, 01:35 AM
Don't know about PA but in Fla as soon as he brecches your door you can presume the threat of bodily harm or death and use defensive force including deadly force

this is from the PA laws on self protection
# The use of deadly force is not justifiable under this section unless the actor believes that such force is necessary to protect himself against death, serious bodily injury, kidnapping or sexual intercourse compelled by force or threat; nor is it justifiable if:

1. the actor, with the intent of causing death or serious bodily injury, provoked the use of force against himself in the same encounter; or
2. the actor knows that he can avoid the necessity of using such force with complete safety by retreating or by surrendering possession of a thing to a person asserting a claim of right thereto or by complying with a demand that he abstain from any action which he has no duty to take, except that:

(A) the actor is not obliged to retreat from his dwelling or place of work, unless he was the initial aggressor or is assailed in his place of work by another person whose place of work the actor knows it to be; and (http://members.aol.com/StatutesP8/18PA505.html)

Edison Carter
April 11, 2006, 01:41 AM
Take this advice, or tell me to go jump... I don't care.

Get this woman out of your house and your life right now.

There are women's shelters all over the country these days.

I have dealt with so called battered women and they
are as addicted to abuse as some people are to crack.

Abused women will get a restraining order, and then they will
call up the abusing husband because... (all together now...)
she LOVES him Unless she actually runs for her life,
YOU are just getting set up for explaining a justifiable homicide.

The DA can deem it a legal shooting, and you could still lose
everything in a civil suit. It might even be this poor poor
battered woman who sues you!

Do you REALLY want the trouble?


April 11, 2006, 02:28 AM
'rack a shotgun' ? you think that will scare him ? You should get a restraining order now . You should get a lawyer and discuss [also with police] what the options are . If he then appears on your property immediately call 911. If he breaks into your home immediately shoot , don't talk !! [ if he has the strength and will to smash your door in he has the strength and will to smash your head ]. Edison's way would eliminate those problems .

Garand Illusion
April 11, 2006, 02:36 AM
Get a restraining order whether useless or not to have a legal background.

Then, as has been said, it depends on your state.

In Colorado, the moment he enters the house he's inviting the use of lethal force. And as the homeowner you're protected from both criminal AND civil penalties, and all you have to prove is that you had reason to believe he was there to commit a crime.

Colorado is a great state ...

April 11, 2006, 07:36 AM
edison carter is a genius. lose the <edited> new house guest <edited>.

April 11, 2006, 08:41 AM
Is this where the bar has been raised to on TFL?????? Using the word "broad" to refer to women? To denigrate abuse victims???? The responses to this thread disgust me.

To the original poster: know the laws of Pennsylvania, and be prepared to use lethal force in accordance with those laws.


April 11, 2006, 08:58 AM
Deleted / Edited by Moderator

April 11, 2006, 09:11 AM
edison carter is a genius. lose the broad.

While I would steer clear of the term "broad" and applaud her leaving the guy you can now do your part for her and YOUR family by driving her right to a batterred women's shelter. They are proffesionals in this and are ready for the sudden turns that she may take in her attitude.

Right after her hubby hears the sound of your racked shotgun you may hear the cocking of a revolver as she keeps you from killing "the man she loves." You could just as easily feel a chef's knife slide between your ribs... There is a reason cops dread getting involved in domestics, it is because the vicitim will often turn on the very officers there to help her.

My wife has a friend with an abusive husband. If her friend chooses to leave I will happily drop her off at the poice station or a shelter. I have my own family to take care of.

April 11, 2006, 09:19 AM
As Musketeer stated, its best to remove the woman and child from your house and avoid any conflict. You should not get yourself and family into this situation as it is only a losing proposition for you. Victims of abuse frequently get into a syndrome of becoming addicted to being abused and need professional help more then a friend's help at this point. Best for you and her to get help from local and state agencies dealing with abused women.

Jeff #111
April 11, 2006, 09:41 AM
I've been a cop for a few years now and I've seen people in your situation get in alot of trouble. While taking her in is a good thing you can't keep her in your house. Domestic battery victims can be very unpredictable. They'll turn on you in a heartbeat. It's a very complex situation that you've become involved in and it dosen't lend itself to easy solutions.

Be a true friend and get her to a shelter. If she dosen't want that then tell her she needs to go elsewhere. Offer to driver her to her family or a motel, give her a few bucks if you want, but ger her out of your house. You and yours do not need the grief that might be coming you way. Edison Carter is 100% on the money.

April 11, 2006, 10:01 AM
FWIW, I agree that a shelter is a better option. For one thing, she needs counseling and support that you probably aren't in a position to provide. My objection is to the "so called battered women" and "lose the broad" comments.

Of course, the original poster didn't ask our advice on the conduct of his personal affairs. He asked about the use of deadly force. He could write Dear Abby and get the rest of what's in this thread.