is legal to shoot someone on your property

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

is legal to shoot someone on your property

I want to know if I could be charged with a crime if someone I don’t know enters my property armed and I take action with my own firearm. I’m in AZ btw.

Asked on January 20, 2017 under Criminal Law, Arizona


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

It depends on what he does. If he walks onto your land but never threatens you and you shoot him "just" because he is armed on your land, you committed assault or a form of murder (depending on whether he survives). But if he brandishes a gun at you or at another, or starts shooting up your land (so he could easily end up shooting you or another person), or threatens you with his gun, etc., you could shoot him. Legal self defense is to an imminent threat, reasonably perceived (i.e. just about anyone would agree there was a threat), not just to a potential risk or an incursion or trespass.

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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption