You never know when or if you will ever find yourself in a situation in which you need to defend your property. Everybody feels like their home is their castle and a safe place to be. Yet, break-ins can happen and you may be required to do something about it.
The problem with this type of scenario that arises is that there is a limit as to how much force you can use to reasonably protect yourself and your property. This means that even though you may feel justified for what you need to do to protect yourself or your home there is a limit. You could see yourself facing a criminal complaint. In this article, we will go over what you need to know if you ever find yourself needing to hire a lawyer when you are defending your property.
1 - When you can defend your property
Generally, you are able to protect your property if there is a threat of seizure by somebody, or if it will be damaged or destroyed. You can take steps to prevent these things from happening. However, there is the possibility that a criminal complaint could be made if there is some evidence that excessive force was used.
It will be up to the Crown to prove this, of course, as it is not the responsibility of the accused to do so. If you find yourself in court, then a defense lawyer like one from the Pringle Chivers Sparks Teskey firm will be there to defend you against these claims. They will attempt to make the Crown prove beyond a reasonable doubt that excessive force was not warranted.
They will need to prove that what you did wasn’t needed to make sure that somebody was going to enter your property unlawfully and then try to rob you or damage the property.
2 - Threat to property
There will be a lot of questions regarding whether there was a threat to the property. If you believed there was a threat then you will be asked what made you feel this way. Of course, in many cases, any force used to deter a thief would likely be made once the person was either already inside the house, or attempting to break in.
You can’t simply say that it was your opinion that there could possibly be a threat. There has to be a clear and present danger that your property was about to be entered and potentially damaged as a result.
3 - Reasonable response
There is no perfect or ideal way to respond to your property being targeted and damaged by somebody. However, there is a certain amount of force that would be required to make it stop. It’s at that point that the force should then be finished. If the amount of force is considered unreasonable then you may have a problem.
An unreasonable amount of force would be something like shooting at a thief as they were trying to get out of your home.