You hear someone at the back door. The person is jiggling the doorknob. He is pulling and pushing on it. You then hear the person putting something in the keyhole and jiggle it. It’s obvious the person is trying to get inside. You’re home with your children, so what do you do? Will the Castle Doctrine laws protect you if you shoot an intruder?
Many people imagine pulling their shotgun out from underneath their bed, cocking it, and aiming as they walk around their house looking for the intruder through the windows. It’s just what we do when we think about how to protect our home and family. However, there have been some people who have gone to jail because they did just that, and have been charged with murder. The details can be complicated because of the specifics of the law. A resident must have valid concern, and the use of the shotgun must be in self-defense.
In a recent home invasion attempt in Jackson, Mississippi, a homeowner shot an intruder. The police were called to the scene around 10:15 AM. Jackson Police Chief Lee Vance reports that the homeowner said, “The occupant saw the individual breaking in, retrieved what we believe was a shotgun and fired striking the suspect.” He also said that the intruder tried to get into the house through the sliding door. The homeowner shot the intruder in the chest one time and was pronounced dead when paramedics arrived.
In this situation, the homeowner is not being charged. He is covered under the Castle Doctrine. Even so, the evidence still needed to be gathered and then it will be presented to the Grand Jury for a final decision.
What You Need to Know About the Castle Doctrine
The reason some people are charged with murder when they shoot someone who is trying to burglarize their home is that each jurisdiction has their own Castle Doctrine. Some state doctrines say the burglar needs to be inside of the home. If the burglar is outside in the yard and the homeowner shoots him, charges may be brought against the homeowner.
For anyone who has a firearm and plans to use it during an invasion, research your state’s Castle Doctrine. This is important to protecting your livelihood. You need to know when and how you can use your shogun in an event of a burglary. No one wants to go to prison for murder while trying to protect their home, but that could become a reality if there is a lack of knowledge of the state’s Castle Doctrine.