can a person leave their home or apartment to confront a person that is trying to enter a window

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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can a person leave their home or apartment to confront a person that is trying to enter a window

person came outside with a knife and attacked the person outside the home
slashing and stabbing them. Question is was it legal for the person to leave the
home/apartment to confront the person who had no weapons.

Asked on January 29, 2018 under Personal Injury, North Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, it was not legal. Self-defense only applies if you *must* defend yourself. If the perpetrator was still outside, it was unnecessary to confront them: the resident could have called the police and remained inside for the police to respond and deal with the situation. If you slash or stab someone when there is no need to, that is assault or attempted murder. If the person had actually broken in, that may have been a different story: using force on a violent or potentially violent intruder inside your home is often acceptable. But the fact that the perpetrator was outside make an enormous difference.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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