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Will I be arrested if I shoot a home intruder?

Porterville, CA |

If I do, is there any way I can avoid spending time in jail waiting for my court date?

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Attorney answers 5


Whether you would be arrested is a decision for law enforcement and the prosecuting attorney.if you were you could post bond in order to not be in custody while the case was pending. It would be up to your lawyer to present any defense you might have as a result. With that said shooting someone is a last resort and should not be taken lightly and only if you are in absolute fear for life. There will likely be a significant inquiry and charges could very well be filed. Hope that's helpful.


Could be. Whether or not your arrested is up to the police and whether or not your charged is up to the District Attorney.

If you are arrested and charged you can always bond out with or without a bail bondsman. If you're working with limited money however, I certainly recommend using whatever money you have to retain counsel.


There is absolutely no way to answer this. It depends on what the intruder does. What you do. And, most importantly, regardless of what actually transpires, what the police think happened.

Being arrested, however, is not the same as being convicted. If you should find be unfortunate enough to find yourself in this position, the best thing to do is hire the best attorney you can afford.

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The short answer to this question would take about a year to read. The SHORT answer, which would explain all of the relevant case law and statutes that may apply. This is why attorneys exist.
The pitifully inadequate answer is, you are only legally able to shoot someone who is unlawfully attempting to cause death bodily injury or death.


It is generally not a good idea to shoot people. That said, the law recognizes certain limited instances where such force may be used without incurring criminal liability. This typically relates to self-defense and defense of others. The analysis of such cases is fact-specific because there is a thin line between just and unjust uses of force. The question whether one would be arrested, charged and/or convicted for shooting a home intruder is hypothetical, and therefore an answer has no meaning to you or anyone else. Really, there is no legal question here. That said, should you ever face (God forbid) such a situation, qualified attorneys are available to help.