is legal to shoot someone on your property

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is legal to shoot someone on your property

I want to know if I could be charged with a crime if someone I don’t know enters my property armed and I take action with my own firearm. I’m in AZ btw.

Asked on January 20, 2017 under Criminal Law, Arizona

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

It depends on what he does. If he walks onto your land but never threatens you and you shoot him "just" because he is armed on your land, you committed assault or a form of murder (depending on whether he survives). But if he brandishes a gun at you or at another, or starts shooting up your land (so he could easily end up shooting you or another person), or threatens you with his gun, etc., you could shoot him. Legal self defense is to an imminent threat, reasonably perceived (i.e. just about anyone would agree there was a threat), not just to a potential risk or an incursion or trespass.


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