In a home invasion, what are your rights as a homeowner? - – Rockford’s News Leader

In a home invasion, what are your rights as a homeowner?

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Freeport resident Sara Amodeo Freeport resident Sara Amodeo

Two home invasions in the Rockford area in just roughly a week raises the question, what can homeowners do if they're faced with an intruder?

In Illinois, if someone breaks into your house you might think they're the one in the wrong and they'll face any and all punishment in the situation. But, that's not always the case if it comes to life or death.

"As soon as they take a step towards me, that's enough to say you're in my personal space. I did not allow you into my house, into my personal world, you don't belong there." -says Freeport resident Sara Amodeo.

Amodeo believes when someone unwelcome enters a home, armed or unarmed, it's a threat. As a mother of a young child, her first priority is looking out for her family.

"If someone were to enter my house, I would either grab the knife in the kitchen and try to defend myself or even [use my gun] and get the consequences because I have to protect myself and my child." -she explains.

In Illinois, Amodeo's position could land her behind bars.

"Well you can't automatically bring the gun to the fist fight so to speak." -says attorney Nathan Noble.

Let's say there's an intruder in your home. In Illinois, if you walk in on them and can see that they're unarmed, that changes things. If you injure or kill that person, you could be charged with a crime.

"You can't just shoot them if it's broad daylight and they're not holding anything in their hand there's no threat, there's a level of threat that must be matched with respect to any sort of defense you might use." -Noble adds.

Of course every situation is different, and Noble says most of these scenarios happen at night. If it's dark and you perceive that your life is in danger, then that could be grounds to use deadly force.

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