If you are like many Tennessee citizens, you either have a gun in your home or know someone who does. Most people believe that they have the right to protect themselves, their family and their property from intruders. At the Law Office of Rob McKinney, we often represent clients who must defend themselves from being sued by acting in self-defense.
Americans are taking a more proactive stance in personal protection than they have done in the recent past. The Nashville Ledger reports that as of June 2, 2017, almost 600,000 residents had a handgun carry permit. Tennessee is one of 32 “stand your ground states,” and in theory, this means retreat is not needed before using force to defend yourself. This statute includes situations where force is used and also when it is threatened. While it seems straightforward, the law is open to interpretation and can be difficult to apply.
Acting in self-defense in the heat of the moment when you are surprised or when you are half asleep can make the outcome uncertain. The law has a provision for using deadly force when you believe there is imminent danger of severe bodily injury or death. If an unarmed stranger tries to enter your home in the middle of the night and you shoot them, it can be argued that there is no evidence of reasonable fear, and you may be sued.
In situations like this, the law sees victims on both sides of the shooting. The police and District Attorney’s office collaborate in the investigation to gather all evidence before deciding to file charges. Visit our webpage for more information on this topic.