Forced entry to home for theft

Kind of a legal question here. I am not sure how this works in other castle doctrine states, but in Wisconsin it appears you can threaten the use of force when protecting property…

“A person is privileged to threaten or intentionally use force against another for the purpose of preventing or terminating what the person reasonably believes to be an unlawful interference with the person’s property. Only such degree of force or threat thereof may intentionally be used as the actor reasonably believes is necessary to prevent or terminate the interference. It is not reasonable to intentionally use force intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm for the sole purpose of defense of one’s property.

So that last sentence in the paragraph above is the key point. Apparently I can threaten while being robbed, but cannot actually pull the trigger and cause injury unless I am in fear of death or injury myself.

I know the following scenario is a bit of a stretch but bear with me. So hypothetically, let’s say someone wants to rob my house. The dude knocks on my door. I don’t know the man but he seems normal enough and I open the door. Only an easily torn screen door is now between him and me. He then kicks through the screen door and enters. He then surprisingly announces his intent to rob the place and that IF I don’t interfere nobody will get hurt.

So at that point I can stand out of the way and let him have at my belongings (while I call 911), I can go hand to hand, or I can threaten to shoot. Per Wisconsin castle doctrine (above), I make the threat of defense with my hand gun, which was hidden from view but instantly accessible. The dude now comes at me. Am I justified in shooting? Here I assume he does intend bodily harm to me. How bad such injury would have been (or even death) I would not know until after the fact. And I will not allow that option to play out.

Now I could have just walked away (even have gone outside), and called 911. But Wisconsin castle doctrine does allow one to make the threat. If your bluff is called and you therefore fear injury or death, and you shoot, how bad are the impending legal gymnastics?


If someone is willing to coming into your house uninvited when you’re home, how do you know what their intentions are?

If I can get away, I will. If my granddaughter is in the house, I will not leave her.

The idea of leaving my house to someone else is incredibly frustrating. But the idea of shooting someone over stuff and having to deal with the legal ramifications for months, if not years, is even more frustrating.


If your name is not Nadia Comaneci or Simone Biles, Bart Connor or Paul Hamm,

Today’s environment I give you a 2.0


Hi Dawn, I agree that to shoot over just “stuff” is excessive. I was only trying to take the Wisconsin law to the next step (as I wrote: “hypothetically”) when one legally makes the threat of firearm use (in Wisconsin) during a theft. It seems to me that if your life IS then threatened AFTER that, that “normal” self defense rules apply.

Cut and run does seem to be the “preferred” option in almost every scenario these days. Not that I have any sort of “Death Wish”, but this clip seems to pretty much summarize how things are these days.


What’s to understand here. Only shoot if death or great bodily harm. Burglar watches home tries to steal incognito. Someone forces their way in while you’re sleeping or known to be home is not there to have coffee & chat. For me: I only see a couple of problems, drunk wrong house, no knock swat. Just me…


I would think that once he has kicked in your screen door and force himself into your house, wouldn’t you be justified in dropping him right there? At that point he has proven that he is a violent criminal. It doesn’t matter what he says after that, his words can’t be trusted. His initial intention may be to rob, but after the robbery maybe his intentions change into having no witnesses.


It all depends like Dawn said. If you own a ranch style vs. 2 story, where you family members are. If they break into the house in the middle of the night…99% chance my entire family is on the second floor. I have cameras and smart lights on first floor. I would start recording , turn all the lights on and check to insure anyone that is supposed to be in the house is accounted for and upstairs. If they are that is where I stay. In the mean time my wife will have called 911. Of course that is if they are crazy enough to come in since my dog is 120+ pounds. While he is a sweetheart of a dog he is also fiercely protective. If they decide to step foot on the stairs after all that…their foot would not make it past the 2nd because they have clearly showed their intent.

Would be completely different in a single story, especially if bedrooms are on opposite sides of the house or if anyone that should be in the house is down stairs during the break in.


I’ve seen this enough to where I am going to make a statement that I would not normally make.

Read your laws.

  1. What is the difference between a Theft of Property and a Robbery?

  2. What is the difference between a Burglary and a Robbery?

Here’s a hint. It’s the same thing in both cases.


I’m learning quickly that you’re supposed to avoid the area or flee your home, give them what they want or go to jail! This is the new normal. If you can’t abide by mob rules there’re are other ways to keeping your neighborhood safe!

No shooting required!


I don’t think people are understanding the new laws, you have no legal standing to protect yourself in your home. It’s done, over! No matter what the constitution says you are wrong!
Save yourself the legal fees and jump out 2nd floor windows, flee your home avoid the area and only incur the medical costs. Better than going up against any prosecutor or the media in the United States, you have no equal protection under the supposed laws! The Bill of Rights is a myth! Prove me wrong! Only good guys are being charged and flaunted in the media!


@Scott52 Nope, that’s no good either it’s too intimidating.

And before you say it, I’ve already looked into digging traps with spikes in the yard and apparently that’s illegal too… i can’t even set up a simple sentry gun aimed down the main entranceway of my home!
For crying out loud!

The truth is, that little boy in “home alone” was the REAL criminal.


This :point_up_2:t4:


You know I’m stealing that


Did you create that meme from my comment? That is hilarious! Great job @BeanCounter



My background is local & state police, military, and homeland security.

Keep in mind what they are saying…what would a “reasonable” person do. They say a reasonable person would NOT use deadly force in defending property. Depends on what kind of property. Just let them take all your loaded firearms so maybe someone else gets shot next time? Lawmakers never think things through.

I am not a big fan of backing down on my own property. I ALWAYS presume the intruder is armed, and means to do me or my family physical harm. No innocents in a midnight burglary.

I prefer the dog and a 12 gauge. Dog gives me about 30 seconds advance notice that an intruder is on the property OUTSIDE the home, cameras verify, but most don’t argue with a mossberg 500.

You MUST watch out for edged weapons.

Anyone who would come inside your home, when you are there, and charge an armed homeowner, has probably done it before. Edged weapons are often invisible to you during the attack, they are quiet, don’t need to be re-loaded, and the sharper they are the less likely you will know you’ve been cut until it is too late.

If the intruder is within 35 feet of you, you are in his “kill zone”. Since most homes do NOT offer that much moving around room, almost every situation you will encounter with an intruder in your home could be classified as “within the kill zone”. That meaning, the intruder can run at you with an edged weapon, stab you repeatedly BEFORE you can get a shot off.

A police chief friend of mine tested all his “professional” officers. ALL were stabbed to death (in simulation) before they could get their gun out. So my point…and intruder of ANY kind in the home is a potential deadly force encounter that you cannot predict.

We had a drug mule drop off a “phone order” one afternoon in broad daylight at our house. (Just to be clear, we did NOT order the drugs.) I was at work, mom & the kids were at home. My two adult sons were also there.

This young man parked in front, came around the back, and proceeded to try and enter by forcing his way through the back door. He could not see through the glass, due to sun glare, but both adult sons, armed, watched in amazement at this clowns efforts.

He eventually left the drugs hanging in a bag on the back door knob and drove off. ( You cant make this stuff up!)

My sons chose not to engage him in any way, but after he left the police were informed.

Shortly later (maybe 15 minutes) the same young man came back, went around back, took his drugs and left.

Narcotics picked picked him up on a traffic stop a few blocks down.

Everyone stayed safe. No one had to be shot.

But let me be clear…at midnight…inside my home…it would most likely have worked out differently for him.


Just my thoughts; burglars try to enter when no one is home. Robbery is more of an in your face kind of thing


Basically the law in Wisconsin is very similar to CA. If its just about PROPERTY forget lethal force. CA actually has a law stating that if someone forcibly enters your residence, other than a family member, and you are present, it is a legal presumption that you are in danger of great bodily harm or death. CA has no duty to retreat. A prosecuter must overcome that presumption with other evidence. Yes you can use force to protect your property in CA but it must be “reasonable.”

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The presence of a person.



Theft is taking something that doesn’t belong to you, but a robbery is taking something from a person and using force, or the threat of force, to do it. Robbery, like theft, involves taking someone’s property without the owner’s consent, but it has some elements that theft doesn’t require.


Though burglary is often a crime that involves theft, you don’t necessarily have to take any property to be convicted of this crime. To commit a burglary you must enter a structure or dwelling with the intent to commit a crime within it. You can be convicted without actually committing a crime within the building, and the crime you intend to commit does not have to be theft or robbery.


Theft is sometimes known as larceny, petty theft, grand theft, or by similar names, depending on the state in which you live and the circumstances of the crime. Theft is one of the most commonly committed crimes. To commit a theft, you have to take someone else’s property without the owner’s consent and with the intention to permanently deprive the owner of its use or possession. Shoplifting is an example of theft.


Good info thanks

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