32

Here's the situation

Main persons:

  • my daughter Maria, 16 years old
  • my daughter's friend Mario, over 18 years old

My daughter was asked by her friend Mario to hang out at someone's house.

At 1:00 am, while I and her oldest brother (20 years old) were already resting, someone knocked on my door and said that Mario (already drunk) was getting my daughter to hangout at someone's house. So I woke up her oldest brother to go into that house to get his sister.

When we arrived at the house, while we were knocking we heard a noise of singing and like partying, but it suddenly stopped when they heard us.

My son looked into the window and saw his sister, he felt angry and without thinking, he jumped through the window to get in, he opened the door for me and let me in. When we were inside the house, we found people were already gone except for Mario and my daughter.

Mario faked sleeping, while my daughter was sitting next to him. So my son woke up Mario and said "If I saw you there, outside, I'm gonna punch the hell your face".

By the way, the parents of the child (owner of the house where the incident happened) were not at home, and the child of the owner is under age of 16.

So, me and my son were trespassing and threatened someone.

Do we have the right to do that? When my son says "I'm gonna punch your face when I saw you there" is that considered a threat?

PS: This is for educational purpose only, and the situation happened in real life. I'm not in the situation, but due to curiosity I wanted to know what my rights are when this kind of things happen to me, considering I am the father of Maria.

UPDATE

Thanks for commenting and those who wrote an answer. After reading those comment and answer I realize that I had a mistake for not clarifying my question.

WHICH COUNTRY

These situation happened in Philippines, but I would like to know if the situation also happen in US and India, so three countries.(US and India is optional, I'm just curious).

THE PARTY

It wasn't a party after all, it's just a hang out leading by MARIO.

THE WINDOW

The window is not something like a glass, it's an open window, not lock at all.

WHY DO I ASKED THESE QUESTION IF I ALREADY KNOW THAT THE FATHER AND SON IS TRESPASS

I think this is about protecting the child. Well, I'm currently not in the age of having a son/daughter or family, but you you know, if I we're in the situation maybe because of wanting to protect my daughter/sister, I will do the same(I'm not sure at all). In addition, I would like to know the possible defense that I can make when this kind of situation happen to me. Anyway, sorry for bad English.

So, what I actually want to know is

1: That thing could be consider as a threat?

2: What are the possible defense can I have in these kind of situation?

  • Hi! I made a MAJOR edit to clarify your question, since it was very hard to decipher before. Please revied the edit (click on the "edited" link below), and re-edit to correct any mistakes I made. In the future, consider asking someone else to proof-read your question. Thanks! – sleske Mar 23 '18 at 11:27
  • 2
    Also, please clarify: You write yourself that you were trespassing, which is illegal. So what makes you believe that you have the right to do that? If you could clarify that, you are more likely to get a helpful answer. – sleske Mar 23 '18 at 12:41
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    You're actually asking if "I'm going to punch the hell your face" is a threat? There's no ambiguity there, it's a threat. – AJFaraday Mar 23 '18 at 14:21
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    I sure would like to see the question from the subject answered ("... my child ..."). Alas that there's no child involved in the actual longer question text. :/ – AnoE Mar 24 '18 at 15:19
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    In US, AFAIK, Mr. Mario could legally shooot both of you – 9ilsdx 9rvj 0lo Mar 26 '18 at 10:29
6

I don't know anything about Filipino law. I just looked up the law in Michigan in the United States.

First, under Michigan law, it doesn't sound like you are guilty of "trespassing". Trespassing in Michigan is when you enter someone else's property after they have told you that you are not permitted, or if you refuse to leave when ordered. In practice, trespassing is mainly about being on someone else's yard or porch, not inside the house. It's not a crime to walk up to someone's front door and knock, or to chase a ball or a stray dog onto someone else's property. It's not a crime until they tell you to leave and you refuse to go. So unless Mario told you to leave and you didn't, there's no trespassing.

Second, what's really relevant is "breaking and entering". Interestingly enough, under Michigan law to be guilty of breaking and entering you must not just enter another person's house, but do so with intent to rob the place or assault someone. The fact that your son threatened Mario would work against you here. If that part hadn't happened, I think you could argue there was no intent to rob or assault: you were trying to protect your daughter.

I wasn't there when they wrote this law, but I think I see the reasoning. Suppose you see that your neighbor's house is on fire, and so you rush in to rescue their baby from being burned to death. No one in his right mind would say that was a crime. Or if a small child or a mentally ill person blunders into someone else's house. Etc.

I think your case is arguably similar to the fire: Your goal wasn't to rob the house, but to rescue your daughter.

Again, I don't know Filipino law, but were it not for the threat, I think you'd have a pretty good defense. Even with the threat, I think most courts would overlook that.

Again, by Michigan law, 16 is old enough to consent to sexual activity, with some exceptions. Like, a teacher or a boss cannot legally have sex with someone under their authority. But I don't think any of the exceptions apply here, so Mario isn't breaking the law. Unless he was using force against her, you can't claim to have been protecting her from a crime.

  • Interesting difference between E&W and Michigan. In E&W burglary requires GBH, not just assault. – Martin Bonner supports Monica Mar 26 '18 at 5:43
  • E&W, GBH? What do these mystery abbreviations stand for? – zipzit Sep 6 '18 at 15:48
  • @zipzit E&W is "England and Wales"; GBH is 'Grea Bodily Harm" (Or possibly it is "Grievous Bodily harm") – David Siegel Dec 15 '18 at 3:14
35

So, in England and Wales your son assaulted Mario. (From Wikipedia: "Assault is committed if one intentionally or recklessly causes another person to apprehend immediate and unlawful personal violence". I expect Mario expected your son was going to thump him, and that would certainly be unlawful.) You were both trespassers on the property; however it sounds like there was nobody there who could require you to leave, so that probably doesn't matter. Both of these would be true whatever the age of your daughter.

Finally, in England and Wales, if you had forced your 16-year old daughter to come with you against her will, you would both have been guilty of kidnapping. (16 is the age at which children become independent in terms of deciding where to go.) She can choose to leave home and live with her boyfriend, and there is nothing you can do to stop her.


Edit: The question did not originally mention a jurisdiction. This is an area where the legal situation is likely to be very jurisdiction dependent.

  • 4
    Does the perceived danger (someone has warned them that Mario was drunk and with the daughter) make the trespass warranted? – corsiKa Mar 23 '18 at 15:15
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    @corsiKa Are you asserting that he is an active danger to her at that level of intoxicaton? Might be interesting to convince the law, independent of whether you are right. – Deduplicator Mar 23 '18 at 19:26
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    @corsiKa The fact that he's drunk alone isn't yet a proof that he's dangerous. – glglgl Mar 23 '18 at 20:28
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    Is it reasonable to assume a person is dangerous because they're drunk? Unless that person has a history of violence aggravated by intoxication, it isn't reasonable to assume that, and any case trier is going to treat that as a thin excuse for breaking the law. – Nij Mar 23 '18 at 22:36
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    @Voo In general, trespass is not a crime at all. It is a tort, so a civil wrong that the owner could sure for. There are some exceptions, and actually thus case might run into them, but in general, no. – Martin Bonner supports Monica Mar 25 '18 at 19:36
29

It depends.

If you child is actually a child, then if someone refuses to return your child to you upon your request, you are arguably acting to prevent a crime, which gives you some leniency in terms of use of force. Also makes it less likely you’ll be charged even if you technically broke a law in the process.

You are not going to court if you walk into a house at 1AM to recover a 15 year old girl who's being held against their will. But if you kick the door down on a birthday party, and threaten the clown because you changed your mind about letting your 9 year old go to a party... you're probably getting arrested.

If your 'child' is a legal adult, (which they may or may not be at the age of 16), and are in said house of their own volition,it's a different matter.

13

You clearly committed trespass and assault; other charges such as burglary and threatening behaviour are possible, depending on the view of the authorities.

It would be possible for your defence lawyer to argue that you were acting to prevent a crime, and if the court accepted the argument you would be acquitted. However, it is not a crime for Mario to party with Maria, no matter how far they go; the age of consent in the Philippines appears to be 12 normally and 18 in cases involving "force, threat, or intimidation", which seems unlikely here. So your actions were legally unjustifiable.

In other jurisdictions, the important point is the age of consent; if Maria has not reached it there was clearly some danger of Mario committing statutory rape, and trespass would be justified (though I doubt whether threats of violence would be). Otherwise, she can decide for herself.

(I am not your lawyer, I am not a Philippines lawyer.)

  • At least in E&W, burglary is unlawful entry with intent to steal, commit GBH, or criminal damage. Assault is not enough - on the facts as presented, I don't think they can be charged with burglary (in E&W). – Martin Bonner supports Monica Mar 26 '18 at 5:39
8

You did not specify your country of origin, but in England there is actually no law against simply "trespassing". However, the fact that your son has broken into private property and then threatened Mr. Mario, he would be vulnerable to charges related to Aggravated Trespass under the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994. If he physically assaulted Mr. Mario, then he would also be vulnerable to charges under the Offences Against the Person Act 1861. Because Miss Maria is 16, which means she is legally a separate entity and no longer classed as a child under the jurisdiction of a parent / guardian, you yourself could be charged with Kidnapping and (possibly) Extortion under the Child Abduction Act 1984

Again, this only applies if you live in the England. If your country of residence is not England, I advise you to consult a local lawyer / attorney to get the best advice as per your country's local laws.

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    I doubt the Child Abduction Act applies, since - as the name implies - it requires a child (s1: "a person connnected with a child under the age of sixteen commits an offence ...). It seems more likely to be the common-law offence of kidnapping, though IANAL. – MadHatter supports Monica Mar 25 '18 at 8:08
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    @pipe whether or not their country of residence is England, if they want legal advice they should consult a local lawyer / attorney – JeffUK Mar 26 '18 at 12:39
4

You were most likely committing trespass (you were not invited onto the property, and it is implied in your post based on your method of entering you did not have a claim to be there)

Additionally you were almost certainly "breaking and entering". A more appropriate response would have been to get a law enforcement officer to intervene.

  • I don't think entering through an open window counts as 'breaking and entering' as such it is trespass. However as they went on to commit a crime (Assault) it could be criminal trespass or even a felony in some jurisdictions – JeffUK Mar 23 '18 at 10:22
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    @JeffUK window was probably open, but first time I read it I imagined him jumping through the glass O_o – hellyale Mar 23 '18 at 12:37
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    I'd say entering through a Window to open a door from the inside counts as breaking and entering. Also, if he opened/widened the Window, which is implied, that too would be breaking and entering. Breaking and entering does not imply force or damage. – davidgo Mar 23 '18 at 13:22
  • Also, on rereading, when your done talked about punching that is a threat - indeed it is assault (assault does not imply physical force, only the threat of it) – davidgo Mar 23 '18 at 13:28
  • What jurisdiction are you talking about? (There's no specific crime of "breaking and entering" in England, for example.) – David Richerby Mar 23 '18 at 17:11

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