Happy Thanksgiving from Peter Dennis!

And here’s a friendly tip from your favorite criminal lawyer: if you feel that your Thanksgiving guests stay too long, don’t shoot them.

In a recent case, a Florida woman shot her guests (and accidentally shot her boyfriend!), while trying to get her guests to leave her property because she thought that they had overstayed their welcome. She has been charged with aggravated battery with a firearm. This illustrates the idea that guests overstaying their welcome don’t rise to the level of justifying the use of a firearm.

However, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, let’s consider some alternatives where such a shooting may have been justified. For example, if the guests had threatened the lives of the people who lived there or of other guests, then this woman would perhaps have been justifying in using a gun on these guests, as self-defense or defense of another person can justify the use of force, even deadly force. Alternatively, if these people had trespassed on her property rather than merely staying too long and then threatened imminent serious bodily harm… she may have been justified as well.

That said, we hope you and your families have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and no one gets shot!

Enjoy your turkey everybody and here’s the link to the story below:

<a href=”http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local/Florida-Woman-Accused-of-Shooting-at-House-Guests-Who-Stayed-Too-Long-402495565.html”>http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local/Florida-Woman-Accused-of-Shooting-at-House-Guests-Who-Stayed-Too-Long-402495565.html</a>