Halt | July 3, 2020 | 0 Comments

What Are The Legalities Involved In Defending Your Home Or Business From Looters And Rioters?

The reason for this article is probably obvious. With the widespread riots spreading like a wildfire that threaten to consume all in its path, the decision between fight or flight becomes ever apparent. To some people, their home or their business is all they have, and thus they aren’t going to willingly abandon their property, even as the onslaught of riots eventually finds them.

But the trouble with fear is that it tends to cause people to react with extreme measures, especially when confronted by such lawlessness as displayed by looting and rioting. It’s easy to forget that even during chaos, the law ought to be followed. It may be tempting to use lethal force in order to deter rioters from breaking into your property, but there are certain legal boundaries that you need to follow if you intend to do so. Yes, you are definitely within your right to defend yourself and that which you own, but there are fine lines that you need to adhere to.

Let’s dive in

Legal Precautions

Nobody wants unwanted guests, and as such the law allows the use of measures that deter trespassers. Some of these measures that are allowable by law are:

  • Security cameras. – However, it’s also important to put a notice that your area is being monitored by a surveillance camera so no anti-voyeurism rights are violated.
  • Fences, shutters, gates, – as long as it is within reasonable means and it does not deprive others of passage to their own property.
  • Calling for police assistance. – while it may seem like an exercise in futility to call upon law enforcement to aid you during a riot, it’s important to report criminal activity so you’re able to pursue legal action later on.

Now, what happens if all these lawful, non-violent measures fail? Are property owners then allowed to use lethal force? – Yes. But, only when certain conditions are met.

Use Of Lethal Force

Even with “Stand Your Ground” laws in effect, the use of lethal force in an attempt to protect your property is not reason enough to justify shooting someone. The scope of these laws is only meant to provide protection to those who use force to defend themselves from bodily harm. This protection does not extend to their property. However, it is legal in Texas to use lethal force if the owner reasonably believes that the use of non-lethal force will endanger someone.

Warning Shots

Even warning shots have to be done within legal bounds. The warning shot must be done as a reasonable show of force to deter burglars. They must only be performed in the event of an imminent attack and only as a means of self-defense. A warning shot used to simply scare people gathering outside your property will be considered as a violent threat and will also mean that you may be subject to criminal charges.

If you find yourself the victim of an overzealous property owner, Philadelphia injury lawyers may be able to help you recover damages for your injury including wrongful death.


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