We have weapons for many reasons. Hunting; Sport; and perhaps most importantly, to defend ourselves and our property. What happens if someone tries to steal my car? Can you shoot someone breaking into your car?

The answer, unfortunately, as often happens: depends

It is reasonable to use physical force against another person, when and to the extent that a reasonable person deems it necessary to prevent what the reasonable person considers to be a trial or commission of a second person in the theft or criminal damage involving material movable property in his or her possession or control, but such a person may use lethal physical force in such circumstances. This means that in most cases, if someone is trying to steal your car, you can’t shoot it because it is a lethal physical force. 

But there are exceptions

If a thief uses or attempts to use unlawful lethal physical force against you, you can use shoot.

Similarly, in the same circumstances, you may be justified in using lethal physical force against a thief if its use or attempted use of unlawful lethal force is directed against another person.

Finally, it would be reasonable to use lethal physical force against a thief, as long as a reasonable person believes that it is immediately necessary to prevent the commission of certain crimes, such as burglary to the first degree (illegally entering a car or intending to commit in it stealing it, knowingly having a lethal weapon or a dangerous instrument). So, if a thief breaks into your car when he is armed and commits or attempts to commit the theft from a car, you may be justified to shoot him, assuming that a reasonable person believes that it is necessary to prevent the commission of a crime.

Can you shoot someone breaking into your car?

As you can see, each of these exceptions is closely related to the facts and requires you to meet with a lawyer to discuss the best ways to raise them for defense if you are accused of unlawfully shooting someone breaking into your car. 

You always have the right to use force against someone who breaks into a motor vehicle. The use of force can look like a lot of different things, it can look like anything, from verbal commands to stopping, to physically rolling over and stopping a person with his hands, physical engagement with his hands.

It might look as if everything was directed at someone towards a firearm, so the question arises, can you point the weapon at someone and keep it in place until the police arrive because they break into your motor vehicle? Well, it would be the use of force, and the use of force may be justified in this case. Remember, however, that the use of force must be reasonable, it must be immediately necessary, and it should be proportional to the force a person exerts on you.



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