Defense of home
To the law, your home is your castle. It is your place of last retreat. You are not required to retreat from a threat in your home. When defending your home against a burglary, authorities rarely question the use of force¾ even deadly force. Burglary is legally defined as:
the breaking and entering,
of the dwelling house of another,
while it is occupied,
with the intent to commit any felony or larceny therein.
If you believe a burglar is serious physical threat to you or your family, the law allows you to use whatever force you feel is necessary to neutralize the threat. However, here again, one must be careful since not all intruders are burglars. Someone may be intoxicated and enter the wrong apartment. A firefighter may be trying to break-in to warn you of a fire in your home. Wildly shooting at anyone who trespasses onto your property is not reasonable self-defense. If the mistaken use force is reasonable under the circumstance and no one is seriously injured, the law will generally excuse the action. However, remember that the victim may still pursue you in civil court.