Laws on home invasions in Georgia and Alabama - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Laws on home invasions in Georgia and Alabama

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - With at least six home invasions in the Fountain City area in the past 12 days, do you know the laws protecting your home and your family?

In Georgia the Castle Doctrine says, "A person is justified in threatening or using force against another when and to the extent that he or she reasonably believes that such threat or force is necessary to prevent or terminate such other's unlawful entry into or attack upon a habitation however, such person is justified in the use of force which is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm."

Columbus Attorney Greg Clark explains why its called the castle law. 

"You know just wherever you are if that's where your home is that's your castle and you do not have to run in order to defend yourself," Clark said. 

He says you can use deadly force in reason if you or another person is in imminent danger of death or serious deadly injury. 

Clark says every situation is different. 

"Who broke into your house? Was it a 6 foot muscle man or a 82-year-old lady kicking on your door at 5:30 a.m.? Just remember, if a reasonable person was in your same circumstance would they've acted the way you did," Clark said.  

And in Phenix City the laws are similar. We talked to Lt. Whitten with the Phenix City Police Department who says if someone enters your home to harm you, the use of deadly force to defend yourself is justified. 

"You're justified in using physical force upon another person in order to defend yourself or someone else and you do not have the expectation to flee you can stand your ground and defend yourself," Whitten said.

Both men agree if you are going to have a weapon in your home, you need to make sure you have the proper firearm training. 

§ 16-3-23. Use of force in defense of habitation

A person is justified in threatening or using force against another when and to the extent that he or she reasonably believes that such threat or force is necessary to prevent or terminate such other's unlawful entry into or attack upon a habitation; however, such person is justified in the use of force which is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm only if:

(1) The entry is made or attempted in a violent and tumultuous manner and he or she reasonably believes that the entry is attempted or made for the purpose of assaulting or offering personal violence to any person dwelling or being therein and that such force is necessary to prevent the assault or offer of personal violence;

(2) That force is used against another person who is not a member of the family or household and who unlawfully and forcibly enters or has unlawfully and forcibly entered the residence and the person using such force knew or had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry occurred; or

(3) The person using such force reasonably believes that the entry is made or attempted for the purpose of committing a felony therein and that such force is necessary to prevent the commission of the felony

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