I bet you sheer at the mere thought of a home invasion.
There’s reasonably not much you can do to control your emotions if someone breaks into your home and threatens your life and your family.
If you’re taken by surprise, your adrenaline levels will skyrocket, and who knows what you’ll be capable of doing if an intruder trespasses your doorstep.
You can let emotions dictate your actions for you, but overreacting might make you serve a sentence in prison.
To know where your limit stands, as well as what you are permitted to do and when to do it, I have comprised this helpful guide that will display several expert opinions regarding home invasions.
So, if someone breaks into your house, you are free to react in a manner that is reasonably necessary to put you and your family out of harm’s way.
Sometimes it may be ok to shoot an intruder, while other times you may end up in prison for as littles as a punch in the face. It all depends on the context.
What this means is that, after you push back the imminent threat is, you will have to abstain from further harming the intruder (who is now in a defense or fleeing stance) and alert the police at once.
To make a clearer picture, if the intruder is fleeing from the scene, you are not allowed to shoot him; also detaining someone and applying maltreatments after they are no longer a threat can also sentence you to prison.
A disturbing case from 2012 saw two cousins, a 17-year old boy and 18-year old girl, being shot seven minutes apart from each other by a man who’s house they had intruded.
While they were still breathing, the homeowner approached them and subsequently delivered killing blows from close range while the victims were agonizing.
Because the entire scene happened during Thanksgiving, the man didn’t inform the police until the next day to not disturb them during the holiday.
The house was also filled with surveillance cameras.
He is now facing life in prison. (Byron David Smith case)
You see, the man would have gotten out clean if he had phoned the police immediately after he had shot/disabled the intruders.
But delivering killing blows while they posed no threat anymore, all while they were begging for their lives, is what sentenced him to prison.
So here are a few things to consider if you’re facing a home invasion.
- If you’re facing an imminent threat to your safety, you can use any means necessary to stop that threatening act from taking place.
- If someone invades your home only to enjoy a beer on your sofa without trying to harm you in any way, you are not allowed to react with a gun or violence. Alert the police instead or try talking the intruder out of your house.
- Call the police right away and tell them what happened. Make sure to ask for an ambulance as well.
- If the threat is no more, call your attorney and steer him to your place. This is required to ensure your rights are protected.
- If you are brought into custody for some reason and without an attorney by your side, it is crucial to tell authorities the following: “I am invoking my 5th Amendment right to not answer questions and to have an attorney present.” Don’t say anything afterwards until your lawyer arrives. Speaking to the police may leave breadcrumbs of information that can be used against you. Remember that the police officers are trained interrogators that may do you more harm than good, all through your own words.
- Remember to speak those words, or else you’ll risk the Supreme Court’s 2013 decision saying that “not saying anything can be held against you in court.” Also, it’s good to remember this saying “You can never talk yourself out of an arrest, but you can talk yourself into an arrest.”
The legal system will punish you if apply one of the following methods to the disabled intruder:
- Torture, injure or break the bones of an intruder that is no longer a threat.
- Abuse or humiliate the intruder after submission.
- Tie him up and move him to another place other than the police station, also keeping him prisoner and neglecting his basic needs (like food, water, and shelter).
- Shave his belly with a razor, cut his hair, put make-up on his face, beat him with a stick, temporarily transforming him into a slave. These are all examples that will put you in a bad light in front of the law.
Instead, you should take care of him until the authorities arrive.
Tying an intruder up is also allowed as long as you don’t apply any bad treatments.
In all other scenarios where the intruder is an imminent threat, you are free to use whatever force will stop that threat, even if it’s lethal.
So, if the intruder tries to attack you or anyone within the house, you can open fire to any parts of the body. But remember to alert the police in the shortest time possible.
In these uncertain times, keeping a gun below your pillow might save your life one day. Just remember to follow these tips to not run into further trouble with the prosecutors.
Comply with the law, do not force yourself into prison due to some irrational moves.
I hope these tips will serve you well.