Can a person defend himself after breaking into a home? Can a home invader stab a person as self-defense after breaking into that person's home, or can a home invader action can never be construed as self-defense no matter what the context is in the United States?


1 Answer 1


“Never” is a very big word…

If a burglar stabs someone in claimed self defense, then we have evidence that this was an armed burglary, so that won’t go down well for that burglar. And your rights to self defence are greatly diminished if you caused that situation illegally. So should you get into the situation, try to run away if at all possible. If you had any chance at all to escape your self defence argument will not be accepted.

The only possible situation with self defence is if you are threatened with illegal violence that cannot be justified by the fact that you are a criminal. For example you enter a home, two people with guns inside catch you, bind you to a chair so you are no danger at all, and instead of calling the police they announce they will kill or maim you. This is of course very unlikely to happen.

  • 1
    If you are no danger at all, self defence seems kind of difficult to achieve ...
    – Roland
    Aug 27, 2021 at 8:20

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