Reasonable force applies in many different scenarios. For instance, what if you are in an alleyway and somebody approaches you in the middle of the night bearing a knife? Reasonable force says that you can use necessary force to fight back and ensure that somebody who means you harm does not cause you any. But did you know that reasonable force applies to other situations as well? What happens when somebody enters your property when they aren’t supposed to be there? What does reasonable force say about this?
Reasonable Force Against Trespassers
You have a right to use reasonable force against somebody due to their unlawful actions. However, if you use excessive force (force that is more than that in which is necessary depending on the crime), you could be facing charges for your actions. For instance, consider this: Somebody is walking around on your property but you can clearly see that they do not have a weapon. You aren’t sure why they are there. You would not be permitted to shoot the trespasser right as you walk outdoors. This is not seen as reasonable force because, aside of entering your property unlawfully, they did nothing to threaten your life otherwise.
What happens in a situation where somebody has entered your property and has said some threatening things but, again, you don’t think they have a weapon? If this person does not leave in a reasonable amount of time, it’s safe to say that you could use some force to make them leave. Perhaps this would boil down to confronting them, though a better choice would be to call the police. If you find yourself in a situation where you are confronted by a trespasser who is threatening your life, you could find that this calls for a scenario of self-defense, which means that you can increase your use of force. This does not mean that you have a right to kill somebody on your property just because they threatened to beat you up or commit some other crime of assault.
Have you been charged because you used self-defense but the legal system believes that you broke the reasonable force standard? You must be able to make the determination between an imminent threat and one that is not. You have a right to defend yourself and, just like you, we want to help you defend your rights if you have been charged. Call us for more information today at 619-357-4977.