Self defense; person is justified using physical force when person enters dwelling unlawfully. (HB1626)

Introduced By

Del. Bill Janis (R-Glen Allen) with support from co-patrons Del. Algie Howell (D-Norfolk), Del. Bob Tata (R-Virginia Beach), and Del. John Welch (R-Virginia Beach)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Self defense and defense of others. Provides that any person who lawfully occupies a dwelling is justified in using any degree of physical force, including deadly physical force, against another person when the other person has unlawfully entered the dwelling, has committed an overt act toward the occupant or another person in the dwelling, and the occupant reasonably believes he or another person in the dwelling is in imminent danger of bodily harm. The bill also provides that a person who uses justifiable force against an intruder shall be immune from civil liability for injuries or death of the other person. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


09/27/2006Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/10/07 075801348
09/27/2006Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
01/11/2007Assigned Courts sub: Criminal Law
02/03/2007Committee substitute printed 077837348-H1
02/03/2007Read first time
02/05/2007Read second time
02/05/2007Committee substitute agreed to 077837348-H1
02/05/2007Engrossed by House - committee substitute HB1626H1
02/06/2007Read third time and passed House (91-Y 6-N)
02/06/2007Reconsideration of passage agreed to by House
02/06/2007Passed House (95-Y 4-N)
02/06/2007Communicated to Senate
02/07/2007Constitutional reading dispensed
02/07/2007Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
02/19/2007Failed to report (defeated) in Courts of Justice (6-Y 9-N) (see vote tally)

Duplicate Bills

The following bills are identical to this one: HB2458.


Andrew writes:

This is a good bill. It boggles the mind that someone could break into my home and threaten my life/safety and then be able to turn around and sue me for defending myself! Even if my actions were TOTALLY justified, I can still be punished. I could lose everything trying to defend myself in a court of law. This bill will prevent that from happening. Would be criminals will think long and hard before breaking into someone's home. This law is only common sense and it is well past time that common sense be applied to this situation. If you want to increase your safety and reduce crime, support this bill.