Your home is your safe haven. When you walk through the doors, you can relax, be with your family and otherwise enjoy your home. One day or night, someone violated the sanctity of your home.
Perhaps you own a gun, and you used it to defend yourself and your family from the intruder. Now, authorities consider pressing charges against you for murder or assault with a deadly weapon. What defense options does Alaska law allow you?
Self-defense in your home
You had the right to defend yourself, especially in your home. Under old English common law, your home is your castle, and you have the right to defend it even with lethal force. In addition, you have no duty to retreat under the state’s “stand your ground” law, especially in your home. Even though the law gives you this right, the following elements must exist for one or both to apply to your situation:
- Someone had to illegally and forcefully enter your home.
- You had a legal right to be in the home.
- You were not committing a crime at the time.
- You were not the aggressor.
Authorities will look at these circumstances when determining whether your situation falls under the Castle Doctrine. As authorities attempt to discern whether your actions rise to the level of criminality, they will look at these factors. Even if police officers tell you that you did the right thing, they do not make the final decision regarding pressing charges. That decision most often falls on prosecutors.
Even though you believe you have done nothing wrong, you may still have to go through this investigation. You do not have to wait until that investigation concludes in order to begin protecting your rights. A murder conviction comes with serious penalties. You don’t want to leave anything to chance.
Seeking the support you need during this trying time
Right now, you more than likely need as much support as you can get. You have been through a terrible ordeal, and it may not be over yet. You could undoubtedly use someone in your corner looking out for your rights and tenaciously advocating on your behalf to achieve the best possible outcome for your circumstances.
If you killed an intruder who entered your home without permission, you may want to contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.