Self defense shoot


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realmswalker
January 24, 2008, 01:59 PM
Another thread got me thinking about a scenario that has popped into my head before. I live in Ca and was wondering if someone breaks into your home and you retreat as far as you can into your home and the intruder comes into your room and says "I'm going to take your gun away from you and kill you with it." and begins to advance on you.

I would personally shoot at that point. But I was wondering after all is said and done, when the investigation is done with no witnesses and no weapon being found on the intruder, what kind of legal trouble are we talking here?

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JesseV
January 24, 2008, 02:02 PM
That's what kitchen knives are for.

realmswalker
January 24, 2008, 02:16 PM
That's what kitchen knives are for.

Hmm, so on a gun forum your answer for me is to run and get a kitchen knife. Brilliant.

Here is a link for you my friend http://www.knifeforums.com/

Anyone have an intelligent answer?

JesseV
January 24, 2008, 02:25 PM
I don't think you understood my meaning. What I'm wondering is why you would ever let someone that you were forced to shoot inside your home be found without a weapon.

As in, shoot him and make sure that he has a weapon (kitchen knife, for instance) before the cops show up.

NG VI
January 24, 2008, 02:30 PM
leave california

eric.cartman
January 24, 2008, 02:33 PM
leave California
by far the most intelligent answer so far :D

realmswalker
January 24, 2008, 02:34 PM
Being as I am in law enforcement jesse, this not only tramps all over my moral grounds, but kind of makes me sad that you would plant evidence. And when It was found that you planted evidence, I have a feeling it would go much worse for you than if he had no weapon at all.

leave california

I assume all the intelligent people have gone to bed.

tnieto2004
January 24, 2008, 02:35 PM
He is in your home and shows intent to do great harm and/or death .. A self-defense shoot would be justified

tnieto2004
January 24, 2008, 02:37 PM
Being as I am in law enforcement jesse, this not only tramps all over my moral grounds, but kind of makes me sad that you would plant evidence. And when It was found that you planted evidence, I have a feeling it would go much worse for you than if he had no weapon at all.

Then you should KNOW the answer to the question you have asked..

BobbyQuickdraw
January 24, 2008, 02:38 PM
If someone breaks into your home and makes any aggressive move towards you, he has demonstrated an intent to harm your physical well being. Regardless of what he says to you, you are in your legal right to engage in an act of self-defense.

Remember, every human being (well almost) is carrying a set of 5 weapons - 2 arms, 2 legs, and a mouth full of teeth. You can get killed by someones bare hands or kicks, or get bit hard in a tussle. Don't take that chance, because he may just kill you in the most brutal ways imaginable.

As always: Better to be judged by 12 then carried by 6.

realmswalker
January 24, 2008, 02:40 PM
He is in your home and shows intent to do great harm and/or death ..


I know why I would shoot, but if this came to a jury trial, the statement, which would definitely help me, would be impossible to prove. It was just a weird scenario that could possibly happen and was looking for someone who may have heard of or experienced close to the same thing and how it worked out for them.

realmswalker
January 24, 2008, 02:42 PM
Then you should KNOW the answer to the question you have asked..

I am a Jailer not a street cop.

tnieto2004
January 24, 2008, 02:42 PM
I don't think it would come to that .. But who knows in Ca

cpttango30
January 24, 2008, 02:44 PM
One toe in side my house is too far if you are uninvited. Get video cameras and place them all over the house that way you can record it all on tape. That way you can show the police that he did intend to kill you when he says "I'm going to take your gun away from you and kill you with it." Yes you can get surveillance cameras with sound recording on them.

If not I agree with bobby: As always: Better to be judged by 12 then carried by 6.

x-ricer
January 24, 2008, 03:09 PM
in california, if there is sign of forced entry, then you it would be considered a good shoot.

the forced entry puts you in fear of your life.

if your garage door is open....and you go into your garage and shoot bg, then it would be a bad shoot since there is no forced entry...

GlockamaniaŽ
January 24, 2008, 03:25 PM
It is lawful for a person being assaulted to defend himself or herself from attack if he or she has reasonable grounds for believing, and does in fact believe, that he or she will suffer bodily injury. In doing so, he or she may use such force, up to deadly force, as a reasonable person in the same or similar circumstances would believe necessary to prevent great bodily injury or death. An assault with fists does not justify use of a deadly weapon in self-defense unless the person being assaulted believes, and a reasonable person in the same or similar circumstances would also believe, that the assault is likely to inflict great bodily injury.

I'd also recommend that you take a self-defense handgun course in your local area for life application and training.

CWL
January 24, 2008, 03:32 PM
BG illegally enters your home with intent to do harm, you barricade in bedroom and BG crosses that threshold in order to do harm after you have declared ability to defend yourself. Shoot to stop the BG.

Don't think CA laws, courts and juries are that unreasonable.

larry_minn
January 24, 2008, 03:47 PM
FIRST survive the incident. Second survive the aftermath.
Lets look at your "senerio"

.if someone breaks into your home and you retreat as far as you can into your home and the intruder comes into your room and says "I'm going to take your gun away from you and kill you with it." and begins to advance on you.

I would personally shoot at that point. But I was wondering after all is said and done, when the investigation is done with no witnesses and no weapon being found on the intruder, what kind of legal trouble are we talking here

Someone has broken into your house. (not required but helpful if they had to smash something to get in) You did retreat (and hopefully at least dialed 911 on a phone/told dispatch "There is a man attacking me in my house") The intruder continues the attack and threatens to kill you. You do know that EVERY call is a gun call (they have a gun so there WILL be a gun there)
I don't know if Kalif has a "reatreat law" (if possible you MUST retreat from a threat if you can do it safely) I.E. if you can go out back door you must.
MN used to have that type of law. IF you didn't know about it you would get into trouble. You need to articulate a reason why you couldn't retreat. (or be smart enough to not give statement until you have talked to your lawyer) :(

Its the pits but a person really NEEDS to get local info. Not just your state but your areas (slant) on things. :( :( There are key words you need to hit. Some basics are "fear for my life" " I couldn't get away" "he wouldn't stop" "I think I am going to be sick/can I have some water/ *and if you feel tight in chest/other* Would you take me to hospital I (whatever is feeling wrong" It is not unknown for person who was forced to defend themselves to have heart attack.

RKBABob
January 24, 2008, 03:52 PM
If I understand your question...

The bad guy forced his way into your house...
You retreated as far as you could, because you were in fear of your life...
When he entered your hiding place, you announced you were armed...
He has had an opportunity to leave without violence, but refused...
He has made verbal threats, and named the instrument he'd use to kill you...
He is advancing toward the instrument he intends to use...

I don't think you'd have much choice in this situation. You can shoot him, or risk being shot yourself. I think any jury would probably be kind of likely to agree, for the most part.

HK G3
January 24, 2008, 03:53 PM
You know, when you plant a knife on dead perp, you will get found out. It's just absolutely idiotic, and any reasonable person will find that someone who plants evidence on another person just looks guilty. We had a case in AZ where that was EXACTLY what happened, and within hours of the investigation, police found that the knife was a plant.

Now they allege that the shooter invited the "perp" to his house with the intention of killing him. Shooter is currently looking at life for murder in the first.

Anyway, the small portion of me which is an idealist, doesn't really think that anyone would be willing to find someone guilty of manslaughter when the BG clearly broke into your home, and you, cornered in the back, shot the BG. No need to plant evidence or anything, just don't speak to the police until you have a lawyer, and make sure you tell your legal council exactly what happened, then go speak with the police.

I am a huge proponent of never speaking with LEOs, b/c I've seen others speak with LEOs, they got in way more trouble than they would have if they had just retained their right to remain silent, and speak with an attorney to make sure everything they said was proper by "legalese" standards. They never did anything wrong, it's just that the police enticed them to incriminate themselves in some way. It's not about not speaking because you did something wrong, it's just that one misstatement, and you have some charges to fight. Besides, properly using your rights doesn't make you a criminal, but I guarantee law enforcement would say things like, "Just talk to us, if you do, this whole thing could easily just get dropped, and you can go home in a few minutes" to try and dupe you into waiving your rights, and thinking that using your rights as a US citizen makes you a criminal.

In CA, I have a feeling just not speaking to LEOs and making sure you explain everything to an attorney would be all you need to do. If anyone has more experience in this area, I'd love to hear from them, because I have been interested in what one should do after exercising their right to SD. Based on my limited experience with law enforcement (ie, my criminal justice class in undergrad, and speaking with my law school buddies), talking to them is just a bad idea, since when they talk to you, they are just gathering evidence against you, and not so much trying to figure out what happened, although that's part of it.

DoubleTapDrew
January 24, 2008, 03:54 PM
Pyramid of deadly force:
1. Intent
2. Ability
3. Opportunity

mekender
January 24, 2008, 04:37 PM
me personally, i would have only retreated far enough to grab my firearm, no further... there is no need to barricade yourself in a room, no need to plant evidence, and no need to even wait for that person to verbalize their intent... they made their intent clear the moment they entered your home without your permission

hotpig
January 24, 2008, 04:53 PM
It changes from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. In my area shooting a unarmed intruder would not be a good thing.

Best case scenario would be a ruling of justifiable homicide. It would be costly but at least you are still here. Often a settlement can be reached on financial restitution to the bad guy or his family.

Hypnogator
January 24, 2008, 05:24 PM
I don't think you understood my meaning. What I'm wondering is why you would ever let someone that you were forced to shoot inside your home be found without a weapon.

As in, shoot him and make sure that he has a weapon (kitchen knife, for instance) before the cops show up.

An excellent way to turn a perfectly good shoot into a grand jury indictment!

Not exactly a High Road suggestion, not to mention immoral and illegal.

Hypnogator
January 24, 2008, 05:28 PM
I don't think you understood my meaning. What I'm wondering is why you would ever let someone that you were forced to shoot inside your home be found without a weapon.

As in, shoot him and make sure that he has a weapon (kitchen knife, for instance) before the cops show up.

:what::eek::banghead::banghead::banghead:

An excellent way to turn a perfectly good shoot into a grand jury indictment. :uhoh:

Not exactly a High Road suggestion, not to mention being both immoral and illegal. :fire::fire::fire:

arflattop
January 24, 2008, 05:52 PM
Realmswalker, it seems like your problem is more how to document the conversation than whether or not your actions would be defensible. Unfortunately for any of use who use deadly force justifiably, unless the circumstances are crystal clear, it will cost big bucks to defend. One possibility might be to use a cheap digital camera (that takes videos and has sound capability) to record the conversation. Since I've retired I walk our 300 acres, and it's not unusual to run onto someone on the farm (200 acres are forest -- wonderful hunting). I am armed with my 1911, pepper spray, cell phone and the camera (cheap Canon). When I run up on anyone, I hit the record on the camera and let it record the conversation. I don't "video" them, as some would consider it an act of agression. Like you, I needed the capability to document conversations when no other person is present. It's cheaper than a surveillance system!

TDU
January 24, 2008, 06:00 PM
Here in Michigan we have what we call the Castle law. It states that your home is your castle and we no longer have to retreat in your castle. The law works differently in each state. I suggest you contact a cop or get some legal advise from someone you trust. First off the person is not in your home legally, second you must tell that person that you have a gun and if they come any closer than you will shoot them. That takes care of the second rule and the third is that if they said they are going to kill you that is the threat. If they come any closer you have already told them they will be shot! But of coarse if this guy is a 110# guy that is 88 years old and he is going to beat you with his cane that changes everything on deadly force. Now if the guy is 250#'s and all mustle bound ( kind of like if looks could kill) and you are not near his size or build than maybe it would be a justifiable shoot. Of coarse if this guy is coming into your home and trying this he has already probably done it before and the cops will be looking for him already (which makes it even more justifiable than before). Just some thoughts!! What do you think??
Do they have NRA defensive classes in Ca? If so check it out it may help more than you know.

TDU

Dustinthewind
January 24, 2008, 06:12 PM
realmswalker,

Let's see if I got this straight. You are worried about being prosecuted for defending yourself in your own home against someone who threatens to kill you? Will this sway your decision to protect you and your family?, will you hesitate?, thus giving your attacker the opportunity that he needs. I have a question for you, Where the Hell did America go? What happened to your right to Life, Liberty and The Pursuit of Happiness? Has this been legislsted away?

It changes from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. In my area shooting a unarmed intruder would not be a good thing.

Best case scenario would be a ruling of justifiable homicide. It would be costly but at least you are still here. Often a settlement can be reached on financial restitution to the bad guy or his family.

Well ain't that peachy. You are alive, but now you have a criminal record and we the jury have determined that you owe the poor victim and his grieving family X amount of dollars, because you know, money makes everything better.

primer
January 24, 2008, 06:15 PM
Here in Louisiana, we can shoot them if they forcefully enter our homes or try to car jack us. I couldn't imagine having to justify shooting someone who broke into my house. But if the law was different, I would rather spend some time in jail with my wife and kids safely at home than obey a law. From the day my first child was born, I became expendable when it comes to my family. Bassically, I would inject massive amounts of lead into the BG.

Scorpiusdeus
January 24, 2008, 06:27 PM
That's what kitchen knives are for.

Is amateur hour over yet?

As another poster stated you are allowed to use deadly force if you are in fear for your life or of great bodily injury. I'd say that if a perpetrator broke into your home and advanced on you AFTER you'd retreated and advised he or she that you were armed one could have such fear and act accordingly.

You should make every effort to retreat, make an attempt to call police and advise them that you are in fear for your life and if you do have to use deadly force do NOT make ANY statements without speaking to an attorney first.

realmswalker
January 24, 2008, 06:59 PM
Let's see if I got this straight. You are worried about being prosecuted for defending yourself in your own home against someone who threatens to kill you? Will this sway your decision to protect you and your family?, will you hesitate?, thus giving your attacker the opportunity that he needs. I have a question for you, Where the Hell did America go? What happened to your right to Life, Liberty and The Pursuit of Happiness? Has this been legislsted away?


Dust, I'm not saying I wouldn't shoot or hesitate. In my original post i stated I would. I am just saying how it would look if an unarmed person was shot in your home and how difficult it would be to prove that the person threatened to take your gun and shoot you with it, hence a solid reason for fear of life. If the perp is dead all it comes down to is your word and if the jury or D.A or investigators believe you. it's kind of a weird situation. You could say the guy said anything, getting them to believe it would be another story.

It was jst a scenario that i've played out in my mind before.

Superlite27
January 24, 2008, 07:04 PM
I would shoot and not look back. I have caught flak in other threads because I stand behind my decision to fire on anyone who would merely incapacitate me. If I am in an altercation and someone uses LTL (less than lethal) force on me such as OC spray, I will shoot them.

Once I am incapacitated, I have lost the ability to control my deadly weapon. My deadly weapon becomes THEIR deadly weapon. BANG! Killed with my own gun.

Any attempt to incapacitate you could realisticly result in your death. An intruder or assailant doesn't need a weapon to knock you out and take yours. If you have a weapon, and an intruder still advances on you, I don't think he is doing so to give you a hug. Bottom line? If you feel threatened, better off alive and being judged than dead and.........well.....dead.

cpttango30
January 24, 2008, 07:16 PM
Like CPT Picard said. They come and we fall back they asselate eitire worlds and we fall back. A line must be drawn THIS FAR AND NO FUTHER. I think that is about what he said.

Dustinthewind
January 24, 2008, 07:58 PM
realmswalker,

My point is that a society that would see cause to prosecute you for this is a worthless society based on false principles. It is sad that people need worry about legal ramifications for protecting themselves from bodily harm.

Cosmoline
January 24, 2008, 08:10 PM
This is exactly the sort of situation the Castle Doctrine was designed for. Without it, you may face real problems since the man has no weapon and there's only your account of what he said. With it, you're pretty secure since he was breaking into an occupied residence and ignored warnings.

Unfortunately I have no easy answer if you're in a state without the doctrine. But better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6 as they say.

Zoogster
January 24, 2008, 08:52 PM
Most things you say were said have no weight in court. It will be your word against the prosecutor.

If they are a stranger that broke into your home and you defended yourself you are legaly justified, but still subject to a long civil case by surviving family even if you are not charged.
The civil case is a proponderance of the evidence and not beyond a reasonable doubt, meaning if they feel there was some other way you could have stayed safe without killing them they could win a wrongful death lawsuit.

If they are a guest, or are previously known to you then you will likely be charged and invesitaged and the court will have to determine if it was justified or not in a criminal case. That could go either way even in a good shoot. Juries are a gamble, and the stakes are your life.


You can defend yourself with lethal force to stop a forcible felony or if you feel in immediate danger while inside your residence. A duty to retreat exists in public in CA but not in your residence (decided by case law in CA not an actual statute.) The relevant statutes cite "what a reasonable person would believe...." and leave the definition open to prior case law.
Don't confuse no duty to retreat with a right to advance though. Since you have few legal protections in CA, while your actions may be legal in your residence, they can be picked apart and you can be sued civily over them. Every action you take including going to confront a criminal in your home can be used to prove you are guilty of wrongful death even if you avoid criminal prosecution.
The burden of proof is low to win a lawsuit that will garnish your wages for years to come(and maybe the rest of your life), if not take some of your assets even in a justified shooting.

Paying to fight both a criminal prosecution, and a civil case, and your bail (if able) will probably leave you in tough times financialy, and could result in you being unable to afford your legal counsel after awhile. That is especialy true if you are unable to make bail and cannot work for an income. Bail can be denied for various reason, or very excessive, and leave you fighting your case from in jail, with no income, while you (and maybe family) lose your home and other assets which are likely what you would need as collateral to pay your attorneys for the year+(sometimes years) such cases often last.
If you have no big assets to begin with, good luck getting a competent legal defense.

BigBadJohn
January 24, 2008, 11:45 PM
Never give a statement to the police - just say I was afraid for my life and I'm too shook up right now and I need to talk to my attorney. Even if it is an incident that doesn't involve a firearm. - Short version - three guys break into my apartment - wife 8 months preggo - Fight ensues (no guns)- neighbor comes to help-
2 bgs injured - all bgs arrested - next day atrocious assault charges filed against ME! (gotta love NJ). All charges against me were finally dropped but it took a while to get things sorted out.
PS one of the cops saw a 12ga in the bedroom and told me I should have shot them would've been less paperwork-(wiseass)

Kind of Blued
January 24, 2008, 11:52 PM
FYI, nobody likes a guy that asks for help then acts like an a**hole by calling everyone who responds an idiot.

If you are in your safe room, you should be in the corner, with a gun, and be on the phone with the 911 dispatcher until you can no longer hold a phone to your head. If he says "I'm going to take your gun and kill you with it", it is now recorded on the 911 phone call right before you shoot him. That case should hold up for you.

PoconoEagle
January 25, 2008, 12:00 AM
here here! my read also. :scrutiny:

Aguila Blanca
January 25, 2008, 12:06 AM
I don't think you understood my meaning. What I'm wondering is why you would ever let someone that you were forced to shoot inside your home be found without a weapon.

As in, shoot him and make sure that he has a weapon (kitchen knife, for instance) before the cops show up.
That's called tampering with evidence, and it's the best known way to instantly convert a righteous shoot into a bad shoot.

If you have retreated to your bedroom and the intruder's body is found in the hallway just outside the bedroom door (or just INSIDE the bedroom door) I can't imagine even in a state the requires retreat within the home that you would even be charged. If charged, I don't think any jury would ever convict you.

Just mention the Petit family in Connecticut. The two low-lifes who killed the wife and daughters weren't armed, either.

Big Boomer
January 25, 2008, 12:24 AM
Being as I am in law enforcement jesse, this not only tramps all over my moral grounds, but kind of makes me sad that you would plant evidence. And when It was found that you planted evidence, I have a feeling it would go much worse for you than if he had no weapon at all.

Cops do it all the time around here...:uhoh:

Planting virtual evidence is a different story. It was dark, he said he had a gun and was going to kill me...

May not be "moral" but then I suppose breaking into your home in the middle of the night is...

realmswalker
January 25, 2008, 12:32 AM
FYI, nobody likes a guy that asks for help then acts like an a**hole by calling everyone who responds an idiot.


Mdeviney, I assume you meant the first two people who responded. One was telling me to plant evidence, the other was telling me to leave california. Now do these two responses sound helpful to you?

Anyone else who responded i responded respectfully too. And not once did I call anyone an idiot.

Maybe you should start over and read the thread from the beginning.

realmswalker
January 25, 2008, 12:33 AM
Cops do it all the time around here...

Planting virtual evidence is a different story. It was dark, he said he had a gun and was going to kill me...

May not be "moral" but then I suppose breaking into your home in the middle of the night is...


These kind of statements make me sad.

Big Boomer
January 25, 2008, 12:42 AM
These kind of statement make me sad.

Don't be sad. What other alternative do you have when you are forced to protect yourself or your family, only to be hauled away by the local law enforcement for life anyhow because the laws of the state you live in do not support family protection.

Being dead (or your family members) might be more "morally" acceptable to some but not to others.

Thank God I live in Texas where we don't have to worry about that crap anyhow. You do the best with what you are given, thankfully we are given a lot here.

gym
January 26, 2008, 10:16 AM
Move to Florida

AZ-K9
January 26, 2008, 02:42 PM
The mere fact that someone has broken into your home while occupied gives a reasonable person cause to believe they are present to do harm. There is no reason to be backed into a corner, or retreat.

It's your state and resultant culture there that attempts to provide otherwise.

I'd also go as far to say you support that culture by the very nature of your employment, so in this case you reap what you sow.

The suggestion you move was a good one, you should not be so quick to dismiss it.

Sage of Seattle
January 26, 2008, 02:52 PM
I know why I would shoot, but if this came to a jury trial, the statement, which would definitely help me, would be impossible to prove.

You don't need to prove anything, so why lose sleep over it? You say "this guy said X,Y,Z and then I had to shoot him." Or not. It'd be up to you and your attorney how best to present your defense. Besides, with all of the other hard physical evidence that would be around, I doubt one statement made by the BG before his (un)fortunate demise would matter one way or the other.

Groundhog92614
January 27, 2008, 12:07 AM
Come on guys -- it seems that many of you talk, but all I hear is conjecture. What do the experts say? For that, I turn to the reviled lawyers. To whit:

Regardless of what happens during an armed confrontation with a BG, the only thing you say to the police is: "I have done nothing wrong, I want a lawyer.":cool:

Say it until they stop asking you questions, because it is their job to record any stupid thing you might utter. Then let your lawyer keep you from further assault, either from a lawsuit filed by the dead BG's family, and/or a trial by the local DA.

Regarding your rights in California to defend your home and hearth, I refer to the 2007 California edition of How to Own a Gun and Stay Out of Jail. Note that there is an edition for most of the populated states of the union.

It says in Ch. 5 that to shoot a BG in self defense:

"You must have an honest and reasonable belief that you are in imminent danger of death or great bodily injury...and your acts are necessary to prevent injury."

The book goes on to say that California State law provides that your shooting in your home is presumed to be necessary when you have an honest and reasonable belief that an intruder unlawfully and forcibly entered your residence [I do a bit of paraphrasing].

So I will shoot a BG confronting me in my California home, much less my bedroom, and he doesn't need to utter threats.

Since I said nothing to the police that would give them any idea of what I felt or knew, it means that a DA will have a harder time proving to a jury what I knew about the BG's entrance into my home. If there is an absence of evidence that the BG did made a forcible entry, then the DA has a better case if he wants to prosecute but at least I don't make it easier for him by saying anything stupid to the police.

Note that in California you have very limited right to pursue a BG outside your house, as when his attack "ends," your right to defend yourself also ends.

76shuvlinoff
January 27, 2008, 07:29 AM
.... an intruder has broken into my occupied home.

That's about all the information I am going to require myself to process and I'll be retreating as far as my weapon, any weapon.

CWL
January 27, 2008, 02:55 PM
Your additional option is to call 911 and leave the phone off the hook until police arrive. This way, the police will have recorded call evidence of what transpired.

Personally, I would call 911, explain what is happening, ask for police assistance and then hang-up.

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