DE 5.13. JUSTIFICATION – USE OF FORCE TO PROTECT PROPERTY

DE 5.13. JUSTIFICATION – USE OF FORCE TO PROTECT PROPERTY

State: Delaware

 

DELAWARE PATTERN CRIMINAL JURY INSTRUCTIONS

DE 5.13.  JUSTIFICATION – USE OF FORCE TO PROTECT PROPERTY 

The defendant has asserted as a defense to [charge] that the defendant was justified in using force for the protection of property.  This defense is available, if the defendant believed that such force was immediately necessary, in any one of the following three circumstances:

to prevent a criminal trespass or burglary in a building or upon land belonging

to the defendant or belonging to another person the defendant sought to protect; or

to prevent entry upon land belonging to the defendant or belonging to another person the defendant sought to protect; or

to prevent theft, criminal mischief or any unlawful taking of tangible, moveable property belonging to the defendant or belonging to another person the defendant sought to protect.

In any one of these circumstances, the defendant may use such force as the defendant believes necessary to protect the threatened property.  However, before using force against a person, the defendant must first ask that person to stop interfering with the property.  There is no obligation to make such request if the defendant believe that, under the circumstances:

the request would be useless; or

it would be dangerous to make such a request; or

substantial harm would be done to the property before such a request could be made.

[The use of deadly force for the protection of property is justifiable only if one of the following two circumstances existed:

the person against whom the force was used was attempting to remove the defendant from the defendant’s dwelling; or

the person against whom the force was used was attempting to commit arson, burglary, robbery, felonious theft or property destruction and: either that person used or threatened deadly force against or in the presence of the defendant, or under the circumstances existing at that time, the defendant believed that the other person’s use of force other than deadly force would expose the defendant, or another person in the defendant’s presence, to the reasonable likelihood of serious physical injury.

If, after considering all the evidence tending to support this defense, you find that the evidence raises a reasonable doubt in your mind about the defendant’s guilt, you must find the defendant not guilty of the crime.  You must consider evidence of this defense along with all the other evidence in determining whether the State has sat

By | 2013-01-14T14:30:47+00:00 January 14th, 2013|Comments Off on DE 5.13. JUSTIFICATION – USE OF FORCE TO PROTECT PROPERTY