A Jacksonville man bloodied an intruder he found standing in front of his television one morning last week, shortly after his girlfriend had left for work. The resident was in the bathroom of his Westside Jacksonville home and, when he walked into the living room, he saw a man standing there, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. The resident hit the suspect from behind, knocking the intruder into the television. A fight ensued and the would-be-burglar smashed a lamp on the resident’s head, giving the suspect the time he needed to make a run for it, the newspaper reported. The resident told police to look for a man who was bleeding, but no reports of an arrest have surfaced.
The resident is not expected to face any charges, highlighting the laws that allow people to defend themselves. If someone is threatening you, especially in your home, the law allows you the right to protect yourself. The protections expanded further several years ago with the so-called “Stand Your Ground” law that allows people to respond with force, even lethal force, if a reasonable person would believe their life is in danger. Now there are limitations in the law and this isn’t the wild, wild west. Some people are under the impression that if someone takes three steps onto their property they can come out with guns a blazin’. Not true. The key is the threat. In this case, according to the police reports, there was clearly someone in the house that was not invited or permitted to be there. He was standing in front of a television, likely one he was planning to steal. The resident has every right to protect himself and to try to get the intruder out of his home.
Self-defense cases can be tricky. At the end of the day, it could be up to a jury deciding how much the person was actually threatened and what they would have done in a similar situation.
If you need a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm, PA at (904) 365-5200 for a free consultation. Our Duval County violent crimes lawyer is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.