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To what extent can you protect your home in North Carolina?

Your home should be a place of safety and security. In the event of a home invasion, you may find yourself in a position in which you have to make difficult decisions quickly and decisively. Unfortunately, the North Carolina laws surrounding the defense of your home, family and property are complicated and confusing. It may be in your best interests to know what the law says about this complicated matter.

The justification of the use of force is a critical component in cases involving the defense of a home. Whether you used force and the consequences of that force, such as the injury or death of the invader, are key components to whether you could face criminal charges for your actions. The invasion of your home may not necessarily give justification for deadly force except in specific circumstances.

Important legal facts

North Carolina law allows you to defend yourself with lesser or equal force if you believe you are in imminent danger of injury or death. For example, if someone attacks you with his or her fists, you would have to use the same or a lesser action to defend yourself. As a citizen of the United States, you have the right to self-defense, but it is critical to know when and how you can legally and appropriately apply the use of force in an act of defense.

State laws do not require you to first attempt to retreat before you use force to defend yourself, known as the stand your ground doctrine. This doctrine only applies to situations that take place in your home, place of residence or vehicle. The law also permits you to defend someone else. You cannot claim self-defense in situations in which you are the aggressor or a law enforcement officer is acting withing the scope of his or her job.

Fighting for your future

If you use force inappropriately, even during a home invasion or personal attack, you could face criminal charges. Situations involving self-defense can be complex, and the law surrounding the stand your ground principle are nuanced, complex and difficult to understand. Finding yourself in this situation means your future interests are at stake, and you will find it helpful to start by understanding how you can defend yourself against any accusations of unlawful use of force or assault.

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