Is it Ever Legal to Shoot a Trespasser?

Treadaway & Treadaway Dec. 17, 2018

Georgia is a “Stand Your Ground” state. This means that under certain circumstances, one is able to shoot a trespasser. However, one must feel that their life is in imminent danger. If you have shot an intruder to defend yourself against imminent harm or death, you should contact a Georgia criminal law attorney as soon as possible, and before you speak to the police.

Use of Force Statute

Georgia Code Section 16-3-21 allows one to use force if one must to protect one’s self or someone who is on one’s property with permission – a third party – against someone’s unlawful force. However, for one to lawfully use deadly force, one’s own life must have been in danger.

Generally, one cannot use deadly force if they are the aggressor or if they are committing, about to commit, or have just committed a felony.

Georgia’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ law is sometimes referred to as the “Castle Law,” as one is given great latitude to protect one’s home, or “castle.” However, there are some exceptions. For example, if the intruder is outside and you are inside, you may be charged with murder if you kill that person since your life is likely not in imminent danger. However, if you are both outside you may have a reasonable fear for your life. If you are both inside, you may have a reasonable fear for your life.

Contact a Georgia Criminal Attorney

If you had to protect yourself or your property using deadly force, contact our Georgia criminal attorneys at Treadaway & Treadaway as soon as possible. You should wait to speak to the police until your attorney is present.