Minneapolis, MN asked in Criminal Law for Minnesota

Q: In Minnesota if someone comes breaks into you home can you just shoot them and receive no punishment?

I am being told you can and I am being told you can't from 2 different people. One is saying Minnesota doesnt have castle law or stand your ground law so you have to flee first. The other is saying you can just pull out gun and kill the person without trying to flee.

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3 Lawyer Answers
Mark Edward Arneson
Mark Edward Arneson
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Minneapolis, MN
  • Licensed in Minnesota

A: Minnesota has a version of the castle doctrine. Under State law a person has no duty to retreat from their own home and is allowed to use deadly force, including shooting an intruder, to prevent a felony from occurring within the home.

William Bailey agrees with this answer

Jonathan Matthew Holson
Jonathan Matthew Holson
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Rogers, MN
  • Licensed in Minnesota

A: There is not an obligation to fleeing your own home. That doesn’t mean that a homeowner can, or more importantly should, start blasting away.

William Bailey agrees with this answer

Thomas C Gallagher
Thomas C Gallagher
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Minneapolis, MN
  • Licensed in Minnesota

A: Though Minnesota does not impose a "duty to retreat" in your own home, the use of force in self-defense must be reasonable. Using a firearm towards a person would qualify as the use of deadly force. Minnesota Statutes say that deadly force is reasonable and lawful:

“when necessary in resisting or preventing an offense which the actor reasonably believes exposes the actor or another to great bodily harm or death, or preventing the commission of a felony in the actor’s place of abode.”

Minnesota Statutes §609.065.

Though the use of deadly force in self-defense in your own home is more protected than elsewhere, that does not mean that you cannot be criminally prosecuted for shooting someone, even a burglar, in your own home. We had a case in Minnesota several years ago where a man was convicted for doing just that, in some awful circumstances. It's great that you're studying the law. Better knowledge of the law can help protect you legally.

William Bailey agrees with this answer

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