Florida law is a bit vague when it comes to protecting a neighbors property. The respective section of the law states:
I did try to highlight the important parts. My interpretation of it:776.031 Use of force in defense of others.--A person is justified in the use of force, except deadly force, against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to prevent or terminate the other's trespass on, or other tortious or criminal interference with, either real property other than a dwelling or personal property, lawfully in his or her possession or in the possession of another who is a member of his or her immediate family or household or of a person whose property he or she has a legal duty to protect. However, the person is justified in the use of deadly force only if he or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony. A person does not have a duty to retreat if the person is in a place where he or she has a right to be.
- I am not allowed to shoot for simple "trespass".
- "Burglary" is a forcible felony.
But what about the part where it says: "whose property he or she has a legal duty to protect" ? I am typically not legally obligated to watch my neighbors property. Gutmacher writes in his Florida Firearms law book: "Unless you're a security guard hired to protect the property, or an employee on the premises, I think you better just call the police. There may be an exception where a nieghbor or friend has actually agreed to protect his neighbor's property - but I haven't found any case law on this".
in short: What do people think. If it is a burglary, then the first part of the statute does not apply, and deadly force is legal even if you do not have a legal obligation to protect the neighbors property.
would it be better to formally (in writing) agree on on protecting each others property?