Oklahoma: Can I Use Force Against Someone Burglarizing My Car?


Law Shield Member Ambassador Sherry Hale:

Welcome members and fellow gun owners. In the last Members Voice video, our member Tyler witnessed a criminal breaking into his car. Tyler drew his gun and the bad guys ran away.

The legal questions started pouring in, and members, you wanted to know your legal rights in your state. So here’s your U.S. Law Shield Independent Program Attorney to give you insight on what the law says.

U.S. Law Shield of Oklahoma Independent Attorney Robert Robles:

Hi, this is Robert Robles, attorney from U.S. Law Shield here to talk to you today about what to do when someone is burglarizing your car in your driveway.

What I recommend is that you call 9-1-1. Call the police. Call the sheriff. Call legal authorities to help you stop this
burglary in progress.

Now what kind of force can you use? You can use reasonable force such as yelling at the person, telling them you’ve called the police, and make them go away, or if you are faced with deadly force, such as the burglar turning on you and coming at you with
screwdriver or with some object that he can inflict serious damage on you, you can stand your ground, meet his force with reasonable force, up to and including deadly force.

Now then, that means using your firearm. Can you detain the perpetrator until the police arrive? What does that mean? Can you pull a gun on him and put it in his back? Or put it on him and tell them stay right here as the police come? Yes you could do that, because you would be stopping a forcible felony in progress.

However, it is a very dangerous event and what are you going to do if the burglar turns around and starts to walk off or run away? If you shoot him in the back, you will be charged with either assault with a deadly weapon, shooting with intent to kill, or Lord forbid, murder in the second degree or some other crime.

If the burglar charges you, because you’ve tried to detain him, you pointed a gun at him, and you’re not adequately trained on what to do, and he takes the gun away from you, you then become in a battle for your life. So I highly recommend that you do not attempt to detain a burglar unless you’re trained to do so, either through military or police, or some other fashion, on how to disarm someone, or how to arrest someone. And it would be very helpful if you have handcuffs or other binders to hold this person in custody. But I don’t recommend you do that.

What happens if you’re in a public area and you encounter someone breaking into your car? You could use Stand Your Ground doctrine if the burglar attempts to come at you, or if the car is occupied by your children you could use the Castle Doctrine.

But if the car is unoccupied, you can only use reasonable force to meet whatever force the burglar is going to exhibit.

Law Shield Member Ambassador Sherry Hale:

Educating you is the cornerstone of U.S. Law Shield. Thank you for being a part of our family.


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