Wednesday morning reports have come out stating a Jacksonville homeowner has shot and killed a burglary suspect. According to Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office (JSO), the suspect was in the Westside neighborhood and looking for homes and vehicles to break into. Unfortunately, this burglary suspect met with a homeowner that was not willing to give up. The Police report stated the burglary suspect and the homeowner confronted each other and a fight ensued. It is not clear from current reports where the gun came from, but the homeowner shot and killed the suspect.
In Jacksonville, Burglary is defined by Florida Statute § 810.02, which reads “[e]ntering a dwelling, a structure, or a conveyance with the intent to commit an offense therein…or to commit or attempt to commit a forcible felony. Additionally, under Florida Statutes, Burglary is considered a forcible felony. (Fla. Stat. § 776.08). Here, the suspect had intent to enter the home and the intent to commit a forcible felony within (i.e. burglary).
Furthermore, Florida law permits the use of deadly force to protect one’s home against invasion and imminent threat of serious bodily injury or death or the commission of a forcible felony. This theory is known as the “castle doctrine.” Here, the suspect was inside the home of the victim and intended to commit a forcible felony. Therefore, the homeowner could be justified in using deadly force against the suspect.
However, this case is still in the initial stages and a full investigation is going to be conducted to determine what actually occurred. Whenever you decide to use deadly force against another, it could lead to criminal and civil penalties. That is why it’s important to contact a Jacksonville Criminal Defense Lawyer if you or loved one have been charged or have pending criminal charges against them. Going against the legal system alone is not a good Idea. A Jacksonville Criminal Defense Lawyer can review the reports, understand/apply the law, zealously represent you, and determine what is the best approach in moving forward in your case. Don’t delay, contact a Jacksonville Criminal Defense Lawyer Today.