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    Speak Up! - View Question #574

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    Question: If a minor shoots someone for breaking into their house and trespassing, will they be charged with murder?

    Answer: Yes, they could still be charged with homicide, but it would really depend on the facts of the case.

    If you shoot someone because you reasonably believe you would otherwise be injured, that is self defense. You are allowed to use reasonable force to defend yourself. But, shooting someone who is otherwise unarmed just because they broke into your is probably not self defense.

    Interestingly, there is an obscure Arizona law that says if you are defending your property, you can use a reasonable degree of force, even possibly shooting the intruder.

    It is a very tough question because the facts of the specific situation leading to this event would largely determine the answer.

    1 thru 5 of 5 comments    [ 1 ]   
    On 04/27/05
    James from UT said:
    Best bet would be to consult your states law book. In Utah, if someone breaks into your home it is assumed they are their to hurt you. Deadly force is reasonable. That doesn't mean you can shoot someone trying to leave your home.
    On 01/09/05
    Brenda from NC said:
    I have an abuser that won't leave me alone. My friend says I cannot shoot him if he breaks in and has NO weapon. And that I have to shoot the person before he breaks the door in --that would proove that I did not know that he had a weapon or not. Kind of strange. Maybe I should consider another type of weapon?
    On 04/08/03
    Frank from TX said:
    The answer fails to mention many states like Arizona have such laws that allow indivduals to shoot would be theives. In fact trespassers at night on marked or fenced in property can be shot in Texas...
    On 02/28/02
    Jeremy from NC said:
    If you kill someone, you will be charged with some sort of manslaughter. It will be up to the prosecution to prove that. Your defense lawyer just has to provide reasonable doubt that you did so maliciously.
    On 11/17/01
    Dave from MI said:
    It all depends on the situation. If they felt threatened then no, it should be in means of self defense.
    1 thru 5 of 5 comments    [ 1 ]   

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