Jump to content
Cheflife15

Confused about self defense laws if someone breaks in

Recommended Posts

You don't need any "implied sign" to tell an intruder you don't want him or her to break in.  If it's not their place and no one is there it's burglary. If someone there it's robbery.

You can't shoot someone who broke your window and offers no threat.

You are allowed to defend yourself in your home at any time unless the state has a must retreat law.  Even then if you have no way to escape you can defend yourself.   How you defend yourself is the question.  If you encounter the intruder and they turn and run you can't shoot them.  You can use deadly force when there is no other alternative to prevent death or serious injury to yourself or another. Everything else is in between and is dependent on the totality of the circumstances.

No short answer to your question.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The bar for lethal force in NJ is in theory a credible threat of risk death, disfigurement, maiming/crippling, or rape of yourself or another. 

Outside the home you are obligated to retreat if you can do so safely.  If you cannot do so safely, or cannot do so without credibly abandoning another to such a fate, you can use lethal force in self defense. 

Inside your home in NJ, you have no obligation to retreat. 

Regardless of what happens, you will likely be prosecuted because NJ views bot you and the dead/injured guy as chattel of the state, and you must answer for harming their property. At which point they may decide they gave you permission to harm their property in the course of their property trying to harm you. 

  • Agree 1
  • Informative 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The law is pretty clear, and not what many expect for NJ. This from the jury instructions for using lethal force in self defense in your home.

"A reasonable belief exists when a defendant, to protect himself/herself or a third person, was in his/her own dwelling at the time of the offense or was privileged to be thereon, and the encounter between the defendant and intruder(s) was/were sudden and unexpected, compelling the defendant to act instantly, and the defendant reasonably believed that the intruder would inflict personal injury upon the defendant or others in the dwelling, or the defendant demanded that the intruder(s) disarm, surrender or withdraw, and the intruder(s) refused to do so."

This boils down to 3 possibilities:

1. You were suddenly jumped in your own home, or a home where you are an invited guest

2. You reasonably perceive a threat from the intruder (i.e. you have a reason to think they are there to hurt you - it can't be a guess - e.g. they were carrying a gun or a knife) in your own home, or a home where you are an invited guest.

3. You told them to disarm, surrender or leave and they didn't do as instructed in your own home, or a home where you are an invited guest.

 I have been recommended to read The Law of Self Defense: The Indispensable Guide to the Armed Citizen by Andrew Branca. I have just started it and it looks very informative so far.

Also check to see when the next class by Mike Wolhfert on the topic will be - he has been doing his class online and is tailored to just NJ https://www.justifiableforcetraining.com/upcomingevents

  • Agree 1
  • Thanks 1
  • Informative 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I second The Law Of Self Defense! It's in the third edition.

My companion book for that is Massad Ayoob; Deadly Force - Understanding Your Right To Self-Defense

Ayoob discusses a number of trials including George Zimmerman to present how the legal system actually works.

And last but not least You Have The Right To Remain Innocent by James Duane. Possibly the most valuable $5 you will ever spend. He also talks about this subject on YouTube. (And he's faster than a TV talking head.)

When I introduce anyone to firearms and they tell me they intend to use them for self defense I recommend this trilogy. What happens to you at a trial can be much worse than what happens during a shooting.

  • Informative 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, Cheflife15 said:

Appreciate it. Ill look into those books. Seems dangerous to ask a home intruder to please leave at 230 in the morning when they break into an alarmed house but rules are rules. Dont wanna be in a grave or prison cell. Ill do the research. Thank you all

"GET OUT!"

If they don't move fast enough, it's on them, not you.

  • Agree 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, 45Doll said:

"GET OUT!"

If they don't move fast enough, it's on them, not you.

Is that enough? Im not a small guy. This whole thing seems absurd , always has. Ive been a believer in 2a my whole life and it seems nuts that you cant defend your family without seeing a knife/gun etc. Im gunna read the books but ultimatelt want to protect myself and my family. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Cheflife15 said:

Is that enough? Im not a small guy. This whole thing seems absurd , always has. Ive been a believer in 2a my whole life and it seems nuts that you cant defend your family without seeing a knife/gun etc. Im gunna read the books and ultimately protect myself first. 

If you are in fear for your life or others that you love, act accordingly.

and repeat after me, ad nauseam“ I was in fear for my life or others I love, I would like to speak to my lawyer “

 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_nauseam

  • Like 1
  • Agree 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, Cheflife15 said:

Is that enough? Im not a small guy. This whole thing seems absurd , always has. Ive been a believer in 2a my whole life and it seems nuts that you cant defend your family without seeing a knife/gun etc. Im gunna read the books but ultimatelt want to protect myself and my family. 

Refusing to leave when told justifies deadly force. It's in the statute.

 

Castle doctrine is pretty strong in NJ.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.



×
×
  • Create New...