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Is it illegal to shoot someone who is breaking into your house?
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Is it illegal to shoot someone who is breaking into your house?

i have always wondered if it is illegal to shoot someone who breaks into your house and is robbing your house. is it illegal? and what do you do after?


Someone simply breaking into your house is not grounds for you to shoot them. You could very well go to jail if you were under no threat of life. You could certainly hold a burgler at gunpoint until the cops arrive. Theres one sound any robber will instantly recognize: The sound of a shotgun being ******.

Now if the person had a gun or a knife and you feared for your life, you'd be justified in shooting that person.

Hopefully in a case where you had to shoot and intruder you would have already called the police. If not just call them, tell them that someone broke into your house and you feared for your life so you shot them and killed them.

The cops may detain you temporarily until they know exactly what happened, but if it was self-defense you would be let go.

if you can prove that you are cornered, no escape ...then it's legal

hello :)
if you can prove it was self defense.. you'd get off.

Depends on how stupid the state you live in is.

The smart ones will let you shoot someone breaking in, nice and legal.

Some of the stupider ones require that you try to run away.

You cannot use deadly force to protect property, only persons. If you feel you or someone in your home if in immediate fear of danger, you may use force equal to the force used against you. If someone breaks into your home and you are home, especially at night, it may be appropriate to use deadly force. A court/jury will likely find your actions justified as self-defense. However, if you walk in on someone and the person tries to escape and you are not in any imminent danger, you cannot use deadly force.

Depends on which state you live in. In California, it's perfectly legal to shoot someone who's entering your house without your permission, but it's illegal to shoot them if they're just on your yard or something like that. In Texas, I'm pretty sure you can shoot them anywhere you want. :) j/k

1)wait till he enters and you should be OK

2)call the law after you shot him

Blake R
in texas it's legal to shoot someone if they have broken in, but they have to be inside

aslong as its for defence

first of all if you fear for your life and you shot him shoot to kill if you leave him alive it could mean you in jail. make sure that you have witnesses to his coming in and make sure the door is broken down. make sure hes dead into your house not outside. he could say something else if alive there are alot of things the croaks try to get themselves out of this and talk to a police man and he can tell you what to do call 911 after hes dead in your home.

The Wise One

Touchy issue. If the robber does not present a weapon and does not harm you (like he sees you and starts to run off), you would have a hard time justifying shooting him.

Best advice: positively identify that he has a weapon or poses an immediate personal threat, and then shoot him.
If you screw that up, at least be sure he is dead.
Don't shoot him in the back as he is running away. Judges don't like that

MP US Army
It depends on your State

Search your state and the Castle Doctrine.

I live in TN and we have the Castle Doctrine so not only can you shoot someone breaking in to your home but their family can NOT sue you!

(if they broke into your house you can shoot them in the back or whatever with the Castle Doctrine as long as they are in your house)

Also it's a good call to be the only one standing in front of the judge explaining what happened.

I am pretty sure it's self defense if they are breaking in. But you know how stupid people are about being shot... they might even sue you.

It all depends on the state.

Here in my state if someone is trespassing on your property, you have the right to defend both yourself and your belongings.

No, it is self defense. And you tell the police that you felt that your life and the life of your family would be compromised in the event of the break in. I think that if this were to happen that I would probably just wave the gun around and tell him to leave. Or I would shoot him in the foot to immobilize him. then have him arrested.

its not illegal. its only self defense.

The Disco King
no, shoot and call cops, but try to stop him first

Not in our state.
If someone breaks in...shoot them.
Anymore, if you just wound them, they'll live and end up suing you. It's better to kill them now and send a message to the rest of the criminal elements running the streets.

Key point here; you shoot someone -- in or outside your house -- because you fear for your life or the life of someone else. That's it, no other reason (in most states) holds water. The old wives tale about shooting to protect property will get you charged big time.

Amauri R
well no its not illegal to shoot someone who beaks into your house but you can only shoot them in the front or they can press charges dumb right after you shot them hoping their not dead call the police and tell them what happen.

James G
It completely depends on the state, what state do you live in? There was recently a case in Texas where an older gentleman shot a burglar twice, once in the lower back. The burglar had planned on breaking into his neighbor's house. He got off. Would this have been the case in say, New York? Possibly not.

Its pretty difficult to give you a correct answer without knowing your state.

Not in Florida! In Florida the law specifically allows one to shoot someone who breaks into your house, no questions asked! It depends on what the laws in your state are.

Beth M
I thought it was legal to defend yourself if the person is inside your house. If the person is outside and breaking in, it is not legal.

However, there appear to be different laws in different states.

Call the police

Schizophrenic Psycho
there has to be reasonable doubt that your life was in danger--if they have no weapon--not as good--inside the house better chances-than if you kill them outside--a grand jury will decide if there was reasonable doubt-(self defense)-if not then court

idk...if it is for self defense and they're attacking u then i think its legal, but if u just shoot them im not sure

marguerite c
depends on the state your in. look up your states code. if you shoot and stay alive you can get in some serious trouble. but you cant shoot them if they are leaving or have left (their back turned to you and they are in the direction of the door) you have to warn before you shoot (which is dumb because then they know where you are) there are alot of little things you should know just in case. it is all stupid, but they can file a lawsuit if they get shot and live. they can file a lawsuit if they trip and break their ankle on your couch when they are robbing you! but check in your state. you should always know and you should really know all the regulations if you keep a gun in your house for protection!

Mr. Goodhi
In some states it's legal & in others it's not.

early this morning an intoxicated man came to my residence @ 5:00a.m. trying to brake in. he smashed the window out of my screen door, then broke windows out of my main door and tried to break it down. the door is bowed by him kicking &punching it. i told him i had a .22 rifle and would shoot, if he entered my home. it was me &my boyfriend. he threatened to beat him up &take the gun & shoot me while my boyfriend watched. there was many other threatening commits made. would i as a female have the right to shoot him if he entered my home. i have a no tresspassing sign, to boot.

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