Is it legal to shoot someone with a pellet or BB gun if I catch them stealing my bicycle, which is locked up in a gated area of the apartment complex I live in?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Is it legal to shoot someone with a pellet or BB gun if I catch them stealing my bicycle, which is locked up in a gated area of the apartment complex I live in?

Asked on June 30, 2015 under Criminal Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

No, is not, and if you do, you could be prosecuted for assault. You are not allowed to use physical force to protect property or avenge its theft; you may only use physical force to protect a person (e.g. yourself or  family member). The correct response is to call the police and, if you have the chance, use your cell phone to take a picture or video to aid identification. (If you had the time to draw and use your BB gun, you have the time to take a photo.)


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption