Thread: Burglar Breaking In
if i shoot and kill an uninvited guest in my home and the cops arrive, can they LEGALLY look at my gun or search my house?
After a defensive shooting the first call should be to the police. State the minimum, that you were in fear for your life and that you shot your aggressor. Your next call should be to your attorney. If you don't have an attorney lined up, find a good one.
"When seconds count between living or dying, the police are only minutes away."
“The claim and exercise of a constitutional right cannot be converted into a crime.”
[Miller vs. U.S., 230 F. Supp. 486, 489 (1956)]
“There can be no sanction or penalty imposed upon one because of his exercise of constitutional rights.”
[Sherar vs. Cullen, 481 F2d. 946 (1973)]
The officers that respond probably wont tear your house apart, but they may look for drugs as a possible motive for the person breaking in. Most likely they will take the firearm you used to kill the perp as evidence, and you may or may not get it back after everything is said and done courtwise.
You will not be able to stay in your home during the process of their investigation, and any blood or bodily fluids may require a professional cleaner to clean your home. If the pro cleaner isn't required, I would absolutely recommend it.
Without saying too much, I have been in this situation and that's how my case was handled.
"Ever notice once in a while you come across somebody you shouldn't have f***ed with......That's me." -Clint Eastwood "Gran Torino"
expect to be put in handcuff/detained until they figure out whats going on, ask to make a phone call and that should be to your attorney. then if he doesn't tell you not to say anything until he is there then find a new one/dont say anything except you do not want to be questioned or will not make any statements until your attorney is there. Most of all, in California, be ready to be put in the back of the squad car in cuffs. Key thing in California is you have to have been in fear for your life, protecting property alone (includes your dog) is not justification for killing an intruder. I would imagine if that lady in Oklahoma who shot the intruder upon entry was in California she would have been arrested, kid to child services the whole nine yards.
If you are a healthy male and kill an unarmed burglar, you are at best, in a bad legal situation, depending on the County you reside in.. The questions that will be legitimately asked is why did you not try to flee/hide. What did the burglar do when he saw you, run or advance towards you? If he was trying to leave and you shot him near the front door or outside your house, your will be probably going to jail charged with murder. In California we don't shoot non violent property thieves. What the District Attorney would charge you with in San Francisco varies widely from what a D.A. would (not) do in Orange County.
There are several things you should say. When you call 911 you should clearly tell them, I AM IN FEAR OF my(FAMILIES) LIFE to the 911 operator several times. When the police show up , the first thing out of your mouth is to say the same thing as a answer to any question and then ask for an attorney.
A Case has happened where a victim heard a burglar breaking into his house window, the owner armed himself, loaded the gun and waited a few minutes just around the corner of the room. When the burglar finally got halfway inside a window a few minutes later, the owner walked towards him and shot him dead. The crook was 15 years old, and a much smaller person. The owner went to State prison, because he was healthy and not disabled,had a few minutes to flee, told the police that he had waited (premeditated) for kid to get inside before shooting him in the head. He was proud he (thought he) knew the law, and had waited for the kid to get partially inside his house before killing him without any warning,
The bottom line, guns are to be used for SELF DEFENSE in that short period of time before the police arrive, and you have no other means of not getting gravely hurt. Using them for any other purpose will get you put in jail, where you belong. You are not A LEO, judge and death penalty jury. The rules are a little different if you are a female and a burglar enters your house. If they shoot him, they mostly get a free pass based on self defense, and they are smaller and can normally be overpowered raped, etc. If you are wheel chair bound/disabled and can't move, you will be given a "free pass" because you can't escape. Under other normal circumstances, IF you start yelling loudly that you are going to kill the thief, 99 percent of the burglars are going to beat feet for the exit as fast as they can and do not want to confront a homeowner if given an escape route and won't try to confront you.If they do start towards you and not a exit, that is a legal defense to defend yourself. If you want to attempt a citizen arrest using deadly force, and succeed, you are risking your own freedom and it will probably be financial devastating in legal fees if the crook is injured/killed, even if not charged with a crime.
Last edited by oc4ever; 01-06-2012 at 02:28 AM.
Last edited by twindragons; 01-06-2012 at 01:57 PM.
in my truck with a camper shell.
The curtans covering the windows.
Anyway about 12:30 AM I heard some one rattle my locked door handle trying to get in, I then levered my 30-30
and said "You might get in, but you sure as hell won't get out", then I heard feet running down the road
fast as they could.
This happened on 2 occasions in two differant areas. Robin47
Seems like the main mistake most people make is talking to the police.
In the example posted the guy told the police he waited for the bad guy to get into the house before shooting him.
It he'd have just shut up, they'd never have known that.
So just remember to not answer any questions and ask to talk to an attorney. No matter how good you think the shooting was.