Speak Up! - View Question #574
printer friendly version
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.