Use of Force in Defense of Other Property in Georgia
Georgia gives its citizens the right to protect their home and their property when someone is interfering with it. However, it is important to make sure that you are legally protecting your property. If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime and you think Defense of Other Property applies to your case, contact of our Georgia Criminal Defense Attorneys today.
Georgia Law O.C.G.A. §16-3-24 on Defense of Other Property
A person is justified in threatening or using force against another when and to the extent that he reasonably believes that such threat or force is necessary to prevent or terminate such other's trespass on or other tortious or criminal interference with real property other than a habitation or personal property:
- Lawfully in his possession;
- Lawfully in the possession of a member of his immediate family; or
- Belonging to a person whose property he has a legal duty to protect.
However, the use of force which is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm to prevent trespass on or other tortious or criminal interference with real property other than a habitation or personal property is not justified unless the person using such force reasonably believes that it is necessary to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.
Similar to the defense of habitation, defense of other property requires that the use of force only be used if the person reasonably believes that it is necessary to prevent a violent felony against them. Furthermore, it is necessary that the use of such threat or force is necessary to prevent the crime from happening.
If it is proven that the defendant acted reasonably and the force was justified, then the defendant will be acquitted of the charges.
Georgia Case Law on Defense of Property
The Court found that the victim's defense of his house and mail truck were entirely legal, and therefore he was not guilty of a crime. Robinson v. State, 270 Ga. App. 869, (2004). In this case, the victim went home to check on his house after receiving a call from his neighbors and found the defendant in his home. The defendant ran out and tried to steal his mail truck, and the victim jumped in and restrained the defendant until the police arrived. The Court found that the victim had the right to protect his house and his property and his restraining of the defendant was legal. Therefore, the charges brought against the victim were dropped based on the defense of property and habitation.
The legal system can be complicated and overwhelming. Trying to prove that your use of force was justified to defend your property can be difficult. Having a Georgia Attorney is for more than just court; it is about having someone who understands your side of the story and is willing to fight for you. Lawson and Berry and their team of Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyers will assist you every step of the way and answer any questions you may wait. Contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation. Don't wait because your future is at stake.