If someone enters your home without permission, they could be liable for trespassing. In addition, there are times when burglars may force their way into your home. Do you know what to do if someone enters your home without permission in either of the situations?
When you suspect that someone has intruded on your home, first verify their presence. Once you have confirmed, stay calm and think of an escape and call 911. If there isn’t a safe way out, wait, put and call the police and calmly give clear information to the dispatcher.
What Can You Legally Do To Trespassers?
Criminal trespassing is similar to burglary, though not so much of a serious crime.
The immediate action should be to tell the trespasser to leave or give them notice to leave within a particular duration.
But if they fail so, the owner should call the police or sheriffs to report the matter. Subsequently, you will have to identify and describe the trespasser to law enforcement.
Still, the law allows the local authority to apply for a Magistrate’s order requiring removing the trespasser and their possessions.
Can You Forcibly Remove A Trespasser?
According to the common law, a property owner has a right to eject trespassers, often termed a “self-help” solution. Typically, this is the use of “reasonable force” to get rid of trespassers.
However, there is slight judicial regulation on reasonable force, and each case faces judgment according to its evidence. Consequently, reasonable force is personal, and property owners face the risk of surpassing the threshold, resulting in prosecution for assault.
Furthermore, you can use force to get rid of a trespasser, but you do not have the right to harm them by using a gun or any deadly weapon to make a move. Stand Your Ground law only permits a person to use deadly force if they reasonably believe that using or threatening to use such force is essential to prevent impending death or significant bodily harm to themselves.
Are You Liable If A Trespasser Gets Hurt On Your Property?
For starters, a homeowner needs to act with conventional care to discovered trespassers. Still, they should avoid deliberate, reckless behavior concerning any undiscovered trespassers.
Generally, a trespasser has the duty of not entering into another person’s home without their permission. Thus, a trespasser is already in the wrong from the beginning in this matter theoretically. Nonetheless, one fault does not always justify another.
When there’s injury, a trespasser cannot come to a court looking for a fair and right-ruling when the claim only arises due to their wrongful conduct. Thus, in many states, property owners are not liable for trespasser injuries.
However, there could also be a case of negligence by the property owner if there is a severe property hazard and no warning. In this matter, the trespasser could have a lawsuit against the owner for the incurred injuries.
What Is The Average Sentence For Burglary?
Burglaries are usually felony crimes that invite severe punishment in the cases where the crime happens at a residence, someone is wounded, or the trespasser uses a weapon.
Therefore, depending on the state and conditions of the case, a felony burglary verdict can lead to 20 years or more in prison. Also, a misdemeanor burglary charge can attract a punishment of about a jail sentence of a year or fines. CWP
Community Watch Paper blogs:
Home Invasion: What can we do
Dmlp.org. Entering the Property of Others. [online] Available at: <http://www.dmlp.org/book/export/html/1244> [Accessed 13 May 2021].
Didier, A., Home Invasions. [online] www.criminaldefenselawyer.com. Available at: <https://www.criminaldefenselawyer.com/resources/home-invasion-burglary-crimes.htm> [Accessed 13 May 2021].
Findlaw. 2019. Trespassing Basics – FindLaw. [online] Available at: <https://www.findlaw.com/realestate/land-use-laws/trespassing-basics.html> [Accessed 13 May 2021].
zolton. (n.d.). How to Charge Someone for Trespassing | CCLCLAW. Retrieved May 13, 2021, from https://cclclaw.com/how-to-charge-someone-for-trespassing/