Under the Castle Doctrine, a person may use deadly force to protect themselves or others inside their own home, place of business, or vehicle. The individual must have a reasonable belief that the use of deadly force is necessary to protect themselves or others from an intruder who is committing or attempting to commit a violent felony, such as burglary or robbery.
Under the Texas Penal Code, deadly force may be used in defense of property only under certain circumstances. Texas is the only state in the United States of America that permits deadly force to be used to protect property in circumstances where the health and safety of a person is not concerned – just the property.
The use of deadly force in defense of property is justified if the following conditions are met:
- Unlawful Entry: The person using deadly force must reasonably believe that the entry onto their property was unlawful.
- Imminent Threat: The person using deadly force must reasonably believe that the use of force is immediately necessary to prevent the other person from unlawfully taking or attempting to take the property.
- Reasonable Belief: The person using deadly force must have a reasonable belief that the use of deadly force is necessary to protect their property from being taken.
- Proportionality: The use of deadly force must be proportional to the threat faced. The force used should not exceed what is necessary to protect the property from being taken. So if you are using deadly force in defense of that property, it must not be recoverable by less than deadly force.
- No Provocation: The person using deadly force must not have provoked the other person into using force.
- No Criminal Activity: The person using deadly force must not be engaged in any criminal activity at the time of the incident.
It is important to note that deadly force may only be used to protect property, and not to recover property that has already been taken. Additionally, the use of deadly force in defense of property is generally only justified if the property being protected is a person’s home or business, and not for personal property such as a car or personal belongings.
Presenting a claim of self defense can be complicated by inflamatory facts and circumstances. LeGrande Law cares about your situation and will help you present justification defenses in your case.
If you are looking for a Houston criminal defense lawyer to defend your rights, and fight on your behalf, in the court of law, contact Tristan LeGrande as soon as possible.