Cresskill, NJ asked in Criminal Law, Personal Injury and Constitutional Law for New Jersey

Q: What are the firearm guidelines to protecting yourself and family in a NJ home invasion?

It is very hard to stay calm and think correctly in a home invasion given several factors: emotions, fear, not knowing the robber(s) intent to harm, kill, rape or kidnap, and the element of surprise is on their side to conquer. You don't know if they have weapons on them: knife, mace, gun, and the homeowner is extremely vulnerable if outnumbered or hurt first. What are the NJ laws to consider shooting first, ask questions later in a home invasion to avoid physical altercations and risk being shot or killed first? In today's pathetic socialist system, the robber is the victim, but each state is different. How is NJ's gun laws protecting the vulnerable?

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: In New Jersey, the use of force in self-defense, including deadly force, is generally permissible when you reasonably believe such force is necessary to protect yourself or others from imminent harm. The state's laws allow for the use of force in your home under the "Castle Doctrine," which provides certain protections to homeowners who act in self-defense against intruders. However, the use of deadly force is only justified if you believe it is necessary to prevent death or serious injury. It is important to note that the "Castle Doctrine" is not a "stand your ground" law, which means you still have a duty to retreat if you can do so safely.

Before resorting to deadly force, you must also consider whether the intruder is actively threatening harm. The specifics of any self-defense situation can be complex, and the justification for using force can vary greatly depending on the circumstances. It's crucial to understand the laws and to act within their bounds to avoid potential legal repercussions.

If you find yourself in such a situation, it is advisable to seek legal counsel as soon as possible after the incident.

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