Can you get in trouble for defending yourself on your own property?

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Can you get in trouble for defending yourself on your own property?

My husband and I have had problems with our neighbors dogs being loose and very aggressive. One day they had us cornered on the front porch (barking/snarling/showing teeth and aggression.) we were scared so my husband shot at it to scare it off. The cops took his gun and have treated us like criminals. They said to pick up the gun on Monday, but are now saying that it is marked as “hold for court,” and we have to wait from a call from the responding officer. We never got a police report and it never showed up in the police logs for that day. What should we expect, and can they keep our gun?

Asked on November 29, 2010 under Criminal Law, Florida

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I think that it may be best for you to consult with an attorney in your area in this matter.  What will happen here will depend on many things and one of those things will be is the gun registered.  I also think that the propensity of the animal for attacking and your being cornered, as you say, on your property will be taken in to account. Has the animal or animals attacked before?  Do you have witnesses here?  When it comes to human versus human altercations the courts take in to account the use of "like" force, meaning that you can not use a gun against a person using their fists.  Seek help here.  Good luck.  


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