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If somwonw breaks in your home with the intent to harm can yu use deadly force (gun) to make them go away?

Seattle, WA |

gun control

Attorney Answers 3


  1. One has the right to use force only to the extent of what appears to be the apparent imminent danger at the time. However, when there is no reasonable ground for the person attacked or apparently under attack to believe that his person is in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm, and it appears to him that only an ordinary battery is all that is interred, he has no right to repel a threatened assault by the use of a deadly weapon in a deadly manner.


  2. I concur with prior counsel. Florida has the castle doctrine and stand your ground. Before that, one had to try to retreat before using deadly force. But the use of force has to be reasonable- a concept that changes from jury to jury.

    http://www.defendme.net | The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of Florida. Responses are based solely on Florida law unless stated otherwise.


  3. Many, if not most, states have the "castle law" referred to in the previous answer. These laws remove any duty to retreat from an unlawful intruder in the home. Some will presume that one who has entered unlawfully has intent to commit great bodily harm.

    You will need to review Washington law on the subject with a firearms or criminal law practitioner. The WA and Seattle bar associations may have a Lawyer of the Day or Dial a Lawyer program which could give you the answer without charge; at least, they could give you a referral to such practitioners.

    The foregoing is for general information purposes and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.

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