Jacksonville, FL is a large city, and, like any other big city, there are numerous, serious crimes that occur every day. Let’s discuss a hypothetical situation: A man is wandering around a neighborhood acting “possessed”, according to a homeowner. The man then proceeds to break into the homeowner’s house, threaten him, and steal some cash. The man runs out of the house and the homeowner was chases him down the street. When the homeowner catches up to him in a nearby wooded area, they get into a physical altercation which ultimately results in the homeowner shooting the man. Our own, Dale Carson, recently addressed the legalities of this situation.
Dale spoke on what rights the homeowner has and how those rights change when the confrontation moves from inside the home to outside the home. What charges could both parties face? Below, we dive deeper into the legalities.
*Watch the full news cover here.
The Break In
The moment the perpetrator broke into the house, he risks being charged with burglary. Later information gathered by investigators revealed that the man had a weapon, which means he could face enhanced charges, including: armed robbery, armed burglary, and theft. His charges would depend on specific details such as the type of weapon or the value of items stolen. The homeowner had the right to defend himself as soon as the perpetrator broke in. In his interview, Dale shared;
“If you are in imminent fear of death or great bodily harm, you can defend yourself and claim self-defense”
Dale also noted that a self-defense argument can be difficult and nuanced, so he recommends thinking twice before relying on deadly force.
Dale noted much more concern about the chase and resulting shooting. He warned that homeowners should not do this if they ever find themselves in this situation. If there is a pursuit by the victim (homeowner) it can become much more difficult to assert a self-defense claim than it would be inside your own home. Let law enforcement step in and handle the situation after the intruder has left the premises.
In this hypothetical, the homeowner chased the intruder down the street and proceeded to shoot him. The homeowner told investigators he fired the gun because the intruder had a large stick that he was waving around – like he was going to hit someone. In this situation, the homeowner was not arrested, but he still risked being charged with a host of criminal counts.
Call Our Experts
We share this story and insight so that if you, or someone you know, experiences something like this, you’ll be familiar with potential charges you could face depending on how the situation is handled. If you or someone you know has questions about rights to defending yourself/property contact our team to get in touch with one of our legal experts today.