Your home should be your castle, and you should be able to enjoy your residence without worrying about someone coming into it and assaulting you. Still, according to the Arizona Department of Public Safety, a burglary occurred roughly every 24 and a half minutes somewhere in the Grand Canyon State in 2020.
If you are home when someone breaks into your house, you may wonder whether you can use deadly force to defend yourself. Specifically, you may wonder whether Arizona has a stand-your-ground law.
What is a stand-your-ground law?
In many states, individuals have the legal authority to defend themselves when someone else threatens them. These jurisdictions do not require threatened individuals to retreat. Arizona is one of these states.
What are your rights?
Provided you are not in the process of doing something unlawful, such as trying to break into someone’s house, you have the right to defend yourself without first trying to retreat. The force you use must be reasonable, though.
It also must happen immediately. Indeed, you typically cannot leave a dangerous situation to retrieve a gun and then return to shoot the person who previously threatened you.
Can you face charges?
If prosecutors believe your force was not reasonable or immediate, you could face charges. In that case, you might be able to employ a self-defense strategy. That is, you might have to convince a judge or jury that your use of force had some legal justification.
Ultimately, even though Arizona law allows you to defend yourself, it probably makes sense to obtain legal counsel after any altercation that has the potential to lead to criminal charges.