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Was it assault or self-defense?

On Behalf of | Mar 28, 2020 | Criminal Defense |

State statutes regarding self-defense vary widely. Some states are “stand your ground” states that have very liberal self-defense laws on the books whereas others have very limited definitions of what applies in cases of self-defense.

Colorado’s laws fall somewhere in the middle, as Colorado is a “make my day” state. That means that homeowners have the right to shoot to kill intruders. However, that does not mean that they can shoot a burglar who is in their yard or on their porch. The burglar or home invader must actually be in the house itself when the homeowner neutralizes the threat with lethal force.

What this can mean for some Colorado residents is that they could face felony assault or even murder charges for trying to keep someone from entering their home but failing to wait until the person was inside their domicile.

This can be a slippery slope, especially if the would-be intruder survives the shot and tells a completely different story to responding officers. Then, it could very well become a “he said, he said” story. When that happens, police are likely to charge both parties and let the courts sort it out later.

What does this mean for a homeowner who is simply trying to protect and defend their home and family? It can be a big incentive to install security cameras, doorbells and other devices to capture both an audio and video recording of potential interactions with intruders.

Barring any evidence of that nature to support your side of the story, you will need to work closely with your Colorado criminal defense attorney to craft a viable defense to the assault charges that you face.