Is it true in California

If an Intruder(s) breaks into your home and you have to use lethal force do you have to make sure the Intruder(s) die inside your home?


no! This is not true.


Probably helps…


Uh, no…

California law says homicide is permitted "[w]hen committed in defense of habitation, property, or person, against one who manifestly intends or endeavors, by violence or surprise, to commit a felony, or against one who manifestly intends and endeavors, in a violent, riotous, or tumultuous manner, to enter the habitation of another for the purpose of offering violence to any person therein. " (Cal Penal Code 197(2) )

Nothing in this law says where they need to die.

You can also refer to the jury instructions on Justifiable Homicide: Defending Against Harm to Person Within Home or on Property

I’ve always wondered how this (and other similar myths) are perpetuated.


It would also be worth looking at CA Penal Code 198.5

Which says…

"Any person using force intended or likely to cause death or great bodily injury within his or her residence shall be presumed to have held a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily injury to self, family, or a member of the household when that force is used against another person, not a member of the family or household, who unlawfully and forcibly enters or has unlawfully and forcibly entered the residence and the person using the force knew or had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry occurred.

As used in this section, great bodily injury means a significant or substantial physical injury."


At the first moment I thought it was funny… but just the question was formed that way…

Anyway, as others posted, if acting in self-defense you are not able to decide where and when the intruder dies. You shoot inside your dwelling - nothing more matters. Of course it would help if the body is still there (for investigation) … but it’s not up to you.
Anyway - we shoot to stop, not to kill, so there should be NO DEAD BODY :point_up:


Hahaha now that would be a law


Nowadays you can shoot the intruder inside your home and he has enough strength to make it outside and collapses and dies on your lawn. But that can be proven so no worries.


Unless he signed the testimony that he was shot outside, before he died…
I’m sorry… could not resist.
This is not gonna be a serious thread anymore…


While others already answered that this is completely not true…I wanted to ask, where did you hear this? Whomever that source is, I would question them a lot more moving forward.

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As there are those who are new to self-defense who may read this, let’s be clear that some of these responses are tongue in cheek.

Lethal force is a last results. While we know our shots may kill, our goal is to stop the threat. And once the threat stops, our use of lethal force must stop as well.

All states have different laws, please know your laws. Here’s a great sight that will help you know your laws and the laws of the states you travel through


Spent the last 12 years of my career as a Crime Scene Investigator. Proving if a guy was shot indoors or outdoors is pretty much a no brainer. Had two cases where shooters shot a guy outside, dragged him inside and staged a crime scene. Uhhhh, nice try, off to jail you go.


Yeah, no joke. I have had people tell me “well, if you shoot them while they are outside, make sure you drag them inside”. Again, it seems to be a myth that ends up being perpetuated by people because I have heard people say this and similar comment for most of my adult life.


All true all true, new folks need help & yet the “he needed killin” defense in some states makes my eyes all misty from laughing. Can’t help it.

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Wife: “Look what you did to the carpet!!!” :man_shrugging:t4:

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I’ve actually investigated several cases of this type in California. As the CSI technician above pointed out, not a good idea to “Drag them back inside”. That’s a Monopoly Move–“Don’t Pass ‘Go’, Don’t Collect $200”. And there are no “Get Out Of Jail Free” cards.

That is not to say that prosecution & complaint issuance policies don’t differ between counties–they sure as hell can and do. Los Angeles–city and county–both suck. I live and worked one county east, and avoid the place as much as possible. Same goes for most Bay Area counties, the serial neuroses & psychoses of SFO have irradiated most adjacent counties to some degree. Sacramento is no day at the beach, either. Once outside those cesspits, the state itself is kinda all right–except that its leadership is crazier than outhouse rats. I’m sure that parts of North Korea and Venezuela are nicer than other parts, too.