Minnesota Castle Law

Minnesota clearly defines when it is justifiable to take another’s life.

Minnesota Statute 609.065 JUSTIFIABLE TAKING OF LIFE.

The intentional taking of the life of another is not authorized by section 609.06, except when necessary in resisting or preventing an offense which the actor reasonably believes exposes the actor or another to great bodily harm or death, or preventing the commission of a felony in the actor's place of abode.

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Minnesota Statute 609.06 AUTHORIZED USE OF FORCE.

Subdivision 1. When authorized. Except as otherwise provided in subdivision 2, reasonable force may be used upon or toward the person of another without the other's consent when the following circumstances exist or the actor reasonably believes them to exist:

  1. when used by a public officer or one assisting a public officer under the public officer's direction:

    1. in effecting a lawful arrest; or
    2. in the execution of legal process; or
    3. in enforcing an order of the court; or
    4. in executing any other duty imposed upon the public officer by law; or
  2. when used by a person not a public officer in arresting another in the cases and in the manner provided by law and delivering the other to an officer competent to receive the other into custody; or

  3. when used by any person in resisting or aiding another to resist an offense against the person; or

  4. when used by any person in lawful possession of real or personal property, or by another assisting the person in lawful possession, in resisting a trespass upon or other unlawful interference with such property; or

  5. when used by any person to prevent the escape, or to retake following the escape, of a person lawfully held on a charge or conviction of a crime; or

  6. when used by a parent, guardian, teacher, or other lawful custodian of a child or pupil, in the exercise of lawful authority, to restrain or correct such child or pupil; or

  7. when used by a school employee or school bus driver, in the exercise of lawful authority, to restrain a child or pupil, or to prevent bodily harm or death to another; or

  8. when used by a common carrier in expelling a passenger who refuses to obey a lawful requirement for the conduct of passengers and reasonable care is exercised with regard to the passenger's personal safety; or

  9. when used to restrain a person with a mental illness or a person with a developmental disability from self-injury or injury to another or when used by one with authority to do so to compel compliance with reasonable requirements for the person's control, conduct, or treatment; or

  10. when used by a public or private institution providing custody or treatment against one lawfully committed to it to compel compliance with reasonable requirements for the control, conduct, or treatment of the committed person.

Subd. 2. Deadly force used against peace officers. Deadly force may not be used against peace officers who have announced their presence and are performing official duties at a location where a person is committing a crime or an act that would be a crime if committed by an adult.

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Similar Cases

A few cases similar to Byron Smiths that the home owners were cleared of any wrong doing.



A homeowner woke to find two intruders ransacking his home.

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Sarah McKinley


A woman faces two home intruders on New Year’s Eve.

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Damon Barone


A man shoots an invader entering his home.

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Joe Horn


A man shoots two criminals robbing his neighbor’s house.

View the Wikipedia Article »