A Criminal Defense Lawyers Prospective on Defense | Defending Personal Property
The law-surrounding defense | defending your personal property starts with RCW 9A.16.020, the applicable Revised Code of Washington.
The most relevant section to defense of personal property is RCW 9A.16.020(3):
(3) Whenever used by a party about to be injured, or by another lawfully aiding him or her, in preventing or attempting to prevent an offense against his or her person, or a malicious trespass, or other malicious interference with real or personal property lawfully in his or her possession, in case the force is not more than is necessary;
Further clarification of this statute has been developed in case law by criminal defense lawyers | attorneys who sort out the difficulties of applying these legal “codes” to real world situations. Though every situation and set of facts is different, the case law interpreting the Revised Code of Washington’s definition of defense | defending your personal property is what courts, prosecutors and defense attorneys use as legal precedent in analyzing fact patterns. This case law has created some general rules about defending your property in criminal cases:
Lawful Possession. Lawful possession or ownership of the property is necessary for one to be able to claim defense | defending of property.
How much force? One should not use more force than is justified under the circumstances; but, whether the use of force used in the defense of property is greater than is justified by the existing circumstances is a question for the jury, not a judge or prosecutor to decide.
If you or a loved one is under investigation or arrest because of defending their personal property, it is important that they assert their right to counsel and speak with our criminal defense attorneys | lawyers before they give a statement to the police. The law surrounding defense | defending personal property has many nuances and consulting | speaking with a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer assures you have a team of experienced third parties involved in the decision making process. If you or a loved one is in jail, lawyers have the right to visitation and a private discussion with their clients. Any defense attorney | lawyer with integrity should educate and assist their clients in deciding how to avoid being charged, if possible, or minimize exposure and consequences. We have helped a significant number of clients avoid charges by giving a statement after proper vetting. If you decide to give a statement, we assure your statements and any witness information are accurately recorded by the investigating officer by contacting the police directly and remaining involved in the interview process. Even if we decide not to give a statement, our office will contact the investigating officers on your behalf, let them know you are asserting your right to remain silent and explain any potential arrest and bail issues to you and your family. This is the general process our office follows in proactively litigating our clients’ cases.
Our firm has a distinct combination of courtroom experience, skills, knowledge and temperament. Our criminal defense lawyers | attorneys work as a team and are highly experienced in dealing with the complex fact specific arguments surrounding assaults and defending personal property. Our lawyers know that criminal cases are rarely as simple as the police report claims and our clients retain us early on in the process to make sure their rights are protected. Consultations are free but a poor choice in counsel is not. The first step in evaluating counsel is an appointment.