U.S. Law Shield Independent Program Attorney Ed Riley:

Hi, my name is Ed Riley, and I’m a U.S. Law Shield Independent Program Attorney for Virginia.

We often get asked “What can I do if I see somebody breaking into my car when it’s in my driveway or on the street near my house?”

The first thing I want to make very clear is that you CANNOT use deadly force or the threat of deadly force to defend personal property such as a car or items in a car.

What we recommend in this situation, is that you call 9-1-1, and get the authorities to your location as soon as possible.

Brandishing a Firearm Virginia Law

In the event you decide to intercede and approach the bad guy that’s taking your property, you must proceed very cautiously. Virginia does not allow you to commit an offense to defend that property, such as assault and battery or brandishing of a firearm.

The law does allow you to use as much force as reasonably necessary to protect your property, as long as you do not commit such an offense as assault and battery or a breach of the peace.

In the event you decide to intercede and approach the bad guy to defend your personal property, you must proceed very cautiously, because these situations move quickly and you could become the victim of an attack at which point you would be entitled to defend yourself with the use of reasonable force.

If you need to know more about that type of situation, you can view other videos such as these, or our book “Virginia Gun Law Armed and Educated.”

Law Shield Member Ambassador Sherry Hale:

Educating you is the cornerstone of U.S. Law Shield. Thank you for being a part of our family.


The information provided in this presentation is intended to provide general information to individuals and is not legal advice. The information included in this publication may not be quoted or referred to in any other publication without the prior written consent of U.S. LawShield, to be given or withheld at our discretion. The information is not a substitute for, and does not replace the advice or representation of a licensed attorney. We strive to ensure the information included in this publication is accurate and current, however, no claim is made to the accuracy of the information and we are not responsible for any consequences that may result from the use of information in this publication. The use of this publication does not create an attorney-client relationship between U.S. LawShield, any independent program attorney, and any individual.