MD CJI&C § 8.04.Defense of Habitation or Other Property—Right to Use Non-deadly Force

2 MD Criminal Jury Instructions and Commentary § 8.04
Maryland Criminal Jury Instructions and Commentary, Third Edition
Chapter 8 DEFENSES
C. Defense of Property

CJI&C § 8.04.Defense of Habitation or Other Property—Right to Use Non-deadly Force

You have heard evidence that (insert name of defendant) acted in defense of property. A person is justified in using reasonable non-deadly force to protect [his] [her] property if [he] [she] honestly and reasonably believes that [his] [her] property is in immediate danger of an unlawful [trespass] [taking] and that the use of force is reasonably necessary to avoid that danger.

You are required to find (insert name of defendant) not guilty if the following three factors are present:

(1) (insert name of defendant) honestly believed that (insert name of victim) was unlawfully [intruding or interfering] [about to intrude or interfere] with the property;

(2)the belief was reasonable; and,

(3) (insert name of defendant) used no more non-deadly force than was reasonably necessary to defend against the [intrusion on] [interference with] the property.

[A person may not use deadly force to defend property from [intrusion] [interference]. Deadly force is force that is reasonably likely to cause death or serious bodily harm.]

[In determining the reasonableness of the force used, you should consider all of the facts and circumstances as they appeared to the defendant at the time of the incident. You may consider whether the defendant could have avoided using force by requesting that the alleged intruder stop the [intrusion on] [interference with] the property.]

[The defendant may be justified in using non-deadly force to remove an alleged intruder even if the alleged intruder reasonably, but mistakenly, believed [he] [she] had a right to intrude on the defendant’s property.]

The defendant is not required to prove that [he] [she] acted in defense of [his] [her] property. The State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that (insert name of defendant) was not justified in the use of non-deadly force to defend property. If the State has proved to you beyond a reasonable doubt that at least one of the three factors was not present in this case, then you [must] [should] reject this defense. If the State has not done so, you must find the defendant not guilty.