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Old May 18, 2005, 11:02 PM   #13
Senior Member
Join Date: November 28, 2004
Location: Silicon Valley, Ca
Posts: 7,117
California (of all places!) does have some fairly good laws regarding defense
of one's home and person. To wit. (emphasis added below)

Originally Posted by CA Penal Code
197. Homicide is also justifiable when committed by any person in
any of the following cases:
1. When resisting any attempt to murder any person, or to commit a
felony, or to do some great bodily injury upon any person; or,
2. When committed in defense of habitation, property, or person,
against one who manifestly intends or endeavors, by violence or
surprise, to commit a felony, or against one who manifestly intends
and endeavors
, in a violent, riotous or tumultuous manner, to enter
the habitation of another for the purpose of offering violence to any
person therein
; or,
3. When committed in the lawful defense of such person, or of a
wife or husband, parent, child, master, mistress, or servant of such
person, when there is reasonable ground to apprehend a design to
commit a felony or to do some great bodily injury, and imminent
danger of such design being accomplished
; but such person, or the
person in whose behalf the defense was made, if he was the assailant
or engaged in mutual combat, must really and in good faith have
endeavored to decline any further struggle before the homicide was
committed; or,
4. When necessarily committed in attempting, by lawful ways and
means, to apprehend any person for any felony committed, or in
lawfully suppressing any riot, or in lawfully keeping and preserving
the peace.
Here, someone kicking in your front door is not quite enough. He could kick
in your door and calmly walk off with your DVD player and you can't shoot
him. However any comments the BG makes before, during or after entry can
be used as evidence of his intent, as could any item that could be considered
a weapon (crow bar, knife, hammer, etc.) The biggest sticking point here is the grilling by the DA on how you "knew" the BG "intended" to offer violence to people inside.

Does anyone here know how to lawfully suppress a riot?

But bare fear is NOT generally enough...
Originally Posted by CA Penal Code
198. A bare fear of the commission of any of the offenses mentioned
in subdivisions 2 and 3 of Section 197, to prevent which homicide
may be lawfully committed, is not sufficient to justify it. But the
circumstances must be sufficient to excite the fears of a reasonable
person, and the party killing must have acted under the influence of
such fears alone.
Got that?

The State has to presume you were acting with "reasonable fear"...
Originally Posted by CA Penal Code
198.5. Any person using force intended or likely to cause death or
great bodily injury within his or her residence shall be presumed to
have held a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great
bodily injury to self, family, or a member of the household when that
force is used against another person, not a member of the family or
household, who unlawfully and forcibly enters or has unlawfully and
entered the residence and the person using the force knew or
had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry occurred.

As used in this section, great bodily injury means a significant
or substantial physical injury.
If the State lawyers can say "knowingly" doesn't mean you know the act
was illegal when you did it, then I say "forcibly" can mean enough force to
turn an unlocked door knob or push/pull open a window to enter my home,

Perhaps best of all....
Originally Posted by CA Penal Code
199. The homicide appearing to be justifiable or excusable, the
person indicted must, upon his trial, be fully acquitted and
Though I'm a bit confused as to why you would hold a trial for someone if
the DA believes it to be justifiable. In any case, if a jury deems it to be justifiable or excusable, they can't retry you for the "offense".
BillCA in CA (Unfortunately)
BillCA is offline  
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