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Homeowner Shoots Intruder Accused of Choking Dog

A Miami homeowner may be protected by Florida's Stand Your Ground law after he shot an intruder on his property who was choking the family dog.

While the intruder (who was naked and under the influence of drugs) did not actually enter the house, the intruder was in the curtilege of the property (immediate surrounding area) and was engaged in the crime of cruelty to animals by choking the dog. This makes the intruder's offense not just a mere trespass but a burglary.

Furthermore, there is evidence that upon confronting the intruder, the intruder tried to attack the homeowner.

The intruder has been charged with burglary with an assault or battery, cruelty to animals, resisting an officer with violence, and lewd and lascivious behavior for being naked at the time of the offense.

It does not appear that the homeowner will face any criminal charges as Florida law is clear on the issue of protecting one's home.

Eric Matheny is a criminal defense attorney serving Miami-Dade and Broward.