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Author Topic: Legal Ramifications of Home Invasion Self-Defense  (Read 1332 times)

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Offline AuricTech

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Legal Ramifications of Home Invasion Self-Defense
« on: January 22, 2013, 08:29:04 PM »
Scenario:

Quote
It's 0300 hours local time, and someone is trying to gain forcible entry into your home.  The noise from his attempt wakes you in time for you both to prepare to defend yourself with some sort of weapon and to call 911.  Before any first-responders arrive, the intruder manages to enter your home.  Seeing you armed and ready to defend yourself, he moves toward you, a weapon in his hand.  You respond by using your weapon until the intruder is lying on your floor, unwilling or unable to continue his assault upon your person.

So far, this is a clear case of self-defense.

However, I have a couple of questions about what I should do about the intruder's Health stat, in order to avoid criminal or civil liability:

1. If I have been documented to have received first aid training at some time in the past, to what extent am I obligated to use such training to help preserve the intruder's life, limb and/or eye?  As a follow-up to this question, what standard am I to use to determine whether rendering first aid to the intruder would place me at an unacceptable risk?

2. If I do make a good-faith attempt to use whatever first aid training I may have received in the past, to what extent might I be liable for any failure I might experience in preserving said intruder's life, limb and/or eye (assuming the availability of first aid materials similar to those on which I was trained)?  As a follow-up to this question, if my first aid training became obsolete (e.g., if something the Army taught me before my retirement was no longer first aid doctrine), would I be held liable for applying first aid procedures that were doctrine when I was last trained?
American parachutists...devils in baggy pants...are less than 100 meters from my outpost line. I can't sleep at night; they pop up from nowhere and we never know when or how they will strike next. Seems like the black-hearted devils are everywhere....

Offline Flight-ER-Doc

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Re: Legal Ramifications of Home Invasion Self-Defense
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2013, 08:40:31 PM »
I would NOT attempt to render medical care......I would not approach the rapidly cooling body, I would be in another part of my house awaiting the arrival of law enforcement.  And I would let the dispatcher know this, and would expect the law enforcement to let me know when THEY have cleared my house.

My justification is severalfold:  I would be concerned that the intruder had accomplices, that my family was still at risk, that I would be too emotionally involved to render appropriate care.  And my Hippocratic oath doesn't extend to anyone who I don't accept as a patient   "Whatever houses I may visit, I will come for the benefit of the sick..."


As far as your liability goes toward rendering aid, as long as you don't do anything beyond what you were trained, in most jurisdictions you would be OK.



Yes, I'm a physician.  No, I'm not YOUR physician.  Nothing I say here is medical advice.

Do I treat Glocks like I treat my lawn mowers?  No, I treat them worse.  I treat my defensive weapons like my fire extinguishers and smoke detector - annual maintenance and I expect them to work when needed


Offline oldguy52

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Re: Legal Ramifications of Home Invasion Self-Defense
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2013, 12:40:02 AM »
I expect Doc's advice is good. Certainly after such a traumatic event you were far too distraught to effectively render first aid.

I wouldn't be surprised to learn that expectations may vary somewhat from state to state.

And, if you did shoot the perp in the eye.... I want some lessons from wherever you've been getting them  ;D

O.G.

"Stupid is supposed to be painful, it's nature's way of learnin' ya" - Me, 1994

When one finds himself living in interesting times, it is prudent to become as uninteresting as possible.... Me, 2011

Offline Langenator

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Re: Legal Ramifications of Home Invasion Self-Defense
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2013, 09:22:37 AM »
As a slight modification to what Doc said, I would probably be as far away from the perp as possible while still being able to cover him with my weapon, for the simple reason that I don't want him getting back up and threatening my and/or  my family again.

DO NOT double tap him while he's on the ground, though.
Fortuna Fortis Paratus
“In the house of a wise man are stores of food, wine, and oil, but the foolish man devours all he has.” Proverbs 21:20
"We are content with discord, we are content with alarms, we are content with blood, but we will never be content with a master." -Pashtun malik, 1815

Offline AuricTech

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Re: Legal Ramifications of Home Invasion Self-Defense
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2013, 10:11:39 AM »
And, if you did shoot the perp in the eye.... I want some lessons from wherever you've been getting them  ;D

Red Ryder Marksmanship Institute.  ;)
American parachutists...devils in baggy pants...are less than 100 meters from my outpost line. I can't sleep at night; they pop up from nowhere and we never know when or how they will strike next. Seems like the black-hearted devils are everywhere....

Offline Amisheggpicker

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Re: Legal Ramifications of Home Invasion Self-Defense
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2013, 10:46:11 AM »
Here is a link to a story about an intruder whom was killed by the home owner here in PA. (the intruder didn't make it into the home before he was shot.  The home owner was charged and a trial followed...but he received a not guilty verdict.  This was quite a trial for a small town...but I think there are many lessons to learn from this.  Especially don't get drunk and try to bust into an elderly persons home...also, be prepared to go to trial if you shoot someone...

Sadly, Trooper Paul Ritchey died in the line of duty a few years later.  He was called to check out a home of a woman whom didn't report to work and folks were concerned.  The husband had killed the wife and when the trooper arrived, he shot him. This trooper was one of the good guys.  He actually knew the family and thought he might be able to difuse the situation.

http://forum.pafoa.org/general-2/17037-shooting-trial-update-venango-county.html

I see an add on a march on the capital for responsible gun owners...hmmm...i'll have to check this out.
Proverbs 21:20  In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil,

but a foolish man devours all he has.

Offline Langenator

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Re: Legal Ramifications of Home Invasion Self-Defense
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2013, 06:49:27 PM »
The other thing you might have to worry about, depending on your state laws, is civil liability.

Even if the DA decides it was self-defense, in some states the Choir Boy's next of kin my still sue you.  Even if you win, it'd still cost you a lot of $$$.

Not sure if you could counter-sue for intentiol infliction of emotional distress or some such or not.
Fortuna Fortis Paratus
“In the house of a wise man are stores of food, wine, and oil, but the foolish man devours all he has.” Proverbs 21:20
"We are content with discord, we are content with alarms, we are content with blood, but we will never be content with a master." -Pashtun malik, 1815

Offline Flight-ER-Doc

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Re: Legal Ramifications of Home Invasion Self-Defense
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2013, 07:41:13 PM »
The other thing you might have to worry about, depending on your state laws, is civil liability.

Even if the DA decides it was self-defense, in some states the Choir Boy's next of kin my still sue you.  Even if you win, it'd still cost you a lot of $$$.

Not sure if you could counter-sue for intentiol infliction of emotional distress or some such or not.

You could sue the dead guy, not the family.  The family can sue you, of course.  The family of the North Hollywood Bank Robbery shooters tried suing the government, didn't get too far as I recall.  The bottom of the septic tank scum even tried suing the paramedics for not rushing into an active shooting area to 'rescue' the shooters.  They even deposed me on that one.
Yes, I'm a physician.  No, I'm not YOUR physician.  Nothing I say here is medical advice.

Do I treat Glocks like I treat my lawn mowers?  No, I treat them worse.  I treat my defensive weapons like my fire extinguishers and smoke detector - annual maintenance and I expect them to work when needed

Offline Dale00

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Re: Legal Ramifications of Home Invasion Self-Defense
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2013, 09:12:21 PM »
Quote
Here is a link to a story about an intruder whom was killed by the home owner here in PA. (the intruder didn't make it into the home before he was shot.  The home owner was charged and a trial followed...but he received a not guilty verdict.

Jury nullification occurs when a jury returns a verdict of "Not Guilty" despite its belief that the defendant is guilty of the violation charged.  The jury in effect nullifies a law that it believes is either immoral or wrongly applied to the defendant whose fate they are charged with deciding.
"Test everything. Hold onto the good." 1 Thes 5:21

Offline Bill Quick

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Re: Legal Ramifications of Home Invasion Self-Defense
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2013, 09:36:03 PM »
Learn more at Fully Informed Jury Association.  Judges and lawyers hate it, by the way, but the Framers designed it as a bulwark against tyranny.
"You can get a lot farther with a kind word and a gun than a kind word alone."  --   Al Capone

Offline Paul

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Re: Legal Ramifications of Home Invasion Self-Defense
« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2013, 10:08:52 PM »
I worked with a young man who's elderly father killed an unarmed intruder.  The son was quite naturally quite frightened that his dad might be prosecuted.  The police and DA told him not to worry, it would be reviewed by the grand jury (coroners jury?) and that would be the end of it.  That is exactly what happened.  The jury ruled no cause for action, the police gave him his gun back and told him if it ever happened again he should do the same thing. 

That was in Florida ca. 1980.  The old man who did the shooting was white and the intruder who broke in the house looked like one of Obama's other sons.  Had the DA been looking to make a name for himself or had it been some other state, the results might have been entirely different.   The best bet is to know your local laws. 

Lastly, remember that while "Anything you say may be used against you." there is nothing in the Miranda warning that says that anything you say will be used to exonerate you.  Your mouth is your worst enemy and a good lawyer is your friend.

Offline Flight-ER-Doc

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Yes, I'm a physician.  No, I'm not YOUR physician.  Nothing I say here is medical advice.

Do I treat Glocks like I treat my lawn mowers?  No, I treat them worse.  I treat my defensive weapons like my fire extinguishers and smoke detector - annual maintenance and I expect them to work when needed

Offline Bill Quick

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Re: Legal Ramifications of Home Invasion Self-Defense
« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2013, 01:15:54 PM »
Quote
That was in Florida ca. 1980.  The old man who did the shooting was white and the intruder who broke in the house looked like one of Obama's other sons.  Had the DA been looking to make a name for himself or had it been some other state, the results might have been entirely different.   The best bet is to know your local laws. 

No, given how the laws are selectively enforced nowadays, it's better to know the political and ideological slants held by your local politicians.  After all, we've been a nation of men, not laws, for a good long time now.
"You can get a lot farther with a kind word and a gun than a kind word alone."  --   Al Capone


 

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