A homeowner who is home alone when their house is broken into may feel scared and worried about what could happen. If they are threatened with grievous bodily harm or death, or if they believe this could happen, they could end up seriously injuring or killing the person who broke into their home. The homeowner may be protected from prosecution due to the castle doctrine, but they will likely need help from one of the Criminal Lawyers in Naples.
What is the Castle Doctrine?
In Florida, the castle doctrine states that a person can use reasonable force to stop an attack on them or their family inside their home. If they believe the person is going to hurt or kill them, they can use an equal amount of force to stop the attack.
Why Could a Person be Prosecuted?
The castle doctrine doesn’t mean a person can simply kill anyone who enters their home. There needs to be a belief that the homeowner or their family is in danger of being killed. Additionally, the threat needs to be immediate. If the person who broke into the home is already on their way back out the door, the homeowner is no longer in danger and cannot use deadly force. Because of the exceptions to this doctrine and the limited cases in which it could apply, a homeowner could be charged with homicide even if they believe they were right to defend their home and family.
Why Might a Lawyer Be Needed?
A homeowner could face prosecution even if they were adhering to the castle doctrine, so they will need to get help to avoid prosecution for a homicide charge. The lawyer can make sure the castle doctrine applies in their situation, and help them either avoid charges or be found not guilty in court. Exactly what the lawyer can do to help will vary from case to case.
If you’ve had this happen to you and believe the police might be creating a case against you or you’ve been arrested until a decision can be made by the prosecutor, don’t hesitate to get legal assistance right away. Criminal Lawyers in Naples are ready to help you prove the castle doctrine applies and you should not be prosecuted for this crime. Contact the Law Office Of James W. Chandler P.A. now to get help with your case.