Back to Top

Under What Circumstances Can Crime Theft Victims Defend Themselves?

Interviewer: You are allowed to defend yourself if someone is trying to rob you. Is there a specific law that addresses that? Are you allowed to beat their ass if they just try to rob or burglarize you?

Stuart: That is a whole new area. But in general, if you are in your house, you do not have to retreat. You can protect your house.

The example that I gave you was somebody who was no longer in the house. He was running away outside of the house. After the person’s house was no longer in danger, the only thing they lost is property.

You cannot use deadly force to get back your property. While you are in your house, with people or your kids, yes you can use whatever means necessary. Grab a gun or whatever because at that point you do not know whether they are coming to rob you or kill you.

On the flipside, realize, depending on the circumstances, you may have to answer to a grand jury or somebody else at a later date.