It’s late at night, maybe it’s early in the morning, and you hear some sort of suspicious noise.
It’s so dark out, and you don’t want to put on the lights because you might scare off the intruder. Do you have time to call the police? Or do you grab your firearm and take control of the situation.
Lawyers have had many clients like this and quite often they have shot a burglar. But there’s also the worst case scenario. Shooting someone by accident. Maybe a friend, or a roommate, or a family member enters unexpectedly. While “shoot first, ask questions” later seems like the correct course of action, it can also be the worst decision you make.
How can you and your attorney explain your “self defense” situation?
All the way over in South Africa we have the Oscar Pistorius trial. He allegedly shot his girlfriend in the head and arm thinking she was a thief who broke into their home. While his defense is shaky, considering she had locked herself in the bathroom frightened and he fired four shots through the door, it doesn’t rule out that he just made an awful error in judgement due to fear.
In the state of Florida, potential victims of life-threatening assaults inside their own home can use deadly force on their would-be assailants. It has been referred to as the “castle doctrine”. This is not to be confused with the highly controversial “stand your ground” law.
While it seems fair to give home owners the ability to protect their family and loved ones from a home invasion, it doesn’t mean that tragic mistakes can’t be made. Many studies have shown that a gun in the home can offer more risks than benefits.
You never want to be in that situation, but in case you ever are, you must have a defense attorney that understands the “castle doctrine” and what “self defense” really means.