Many people who own property and homes have questions about the deadly and reasonable force used against trespassers. When can you use a weapon against another person? When can you avoid criminal charges for using deadly force?

In some cases, you can face criminal charges if you use deadly force against another party. This is what you need to know.

When Can a Property Owner Use Deadly Force?

One of the main points of contention regards when deadly force can be used. Deadly force is the use of a weapon that can cause bodily harm or death.

One general rule exists. It is not typically legal to protect property with deadly force, but it is often acceptable to use deadly force in defense of oneself or others. You can protect yourself if a reasonable person would expect that they could be seriously harmed or killed without protection.

In most cases, people are allowed to use enough force to stop an attack. For instance, it is often not considered legal to respond to a punch to the shoulder with a gunshot. Likewise, it is not legal to shoot somebody who punched you once and is now walking away, not posing a threat to you.

If somebody is using a weapon against you and could end up seriously harming you, you may be legally justified in using deadly force. Additionally, the court will consider a variety of other factors. For instance, if a larger person attacks a smaller person, it could put you in a position where deadly force is not a criminal act.

As you can see, protecting property does not typically warrant deadly force.

What Happens If You Use Deadly Force?

If you use deadly force in a way that is considered illegal, you may be sued in civil court and also be charged with a crime. You can face monetary fines and punitive damages, and in some cases, you can even be charged with a crime like manslaughter or homicide. You can face serious consequences.

What Should You Do Next?

If you find yourself in court and need help, you should seek a criminal defense attorney. Each case is different, and your case might be very different from another that you read about. Make sure that you speak with a criminal defense attorney today to ensure that you have the representation you need and deserve. Set up a consultation today to learn more about your options. Contact Daniels Long & Pinsel for more.