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The Texas Castle Doctrine and the Right to Defend Your Property

It makes sense that you have the right to protect yourself when someone else is attacking you, but what about when someone is on your property – do you have the right to protect yourself then? In Texas, you have the right to protect yourself when someone else is on your property. However, there are some limitations to this under what is called the Castle Doctrine.

It’s important that you understand what these limitations under the Castle Doctrine are so that you can ensure that you don’t take any illegal actions.

What Does the Texas Castle Doctrine Protect?

Under Texas law, it is legally permissible for someone to use force in certain circumstances when that person does not have a duty to retreat.

For example, in Texas, a homeowner doesn’t have a duty to retreat from his or her own property. Therefore he or she can use force in order to protect himself or herself from someone who intrudes upon their property. This is also true for a business owner in his or her place of business.

 Under Texas law, self-defense is allowed when:

  • An individual reasonably believes that deadly force was necessary
  • An individual was legally allowed to be on the property
  • The individual who is claiming self-defense did not provoke the other person
  • The individual wasn’t committing criminal activity when he or she used deadly force

But what actually constitutes self-defense? Someone can use force against another person if the former believes that it’s necessary to protect him or her from the other’s attempted or actual use of (illegal) force.

Deadly Force vs. Self-Defense

Under Texas law, someone can is legally allowed to use deadly force against someone else when they: 

  • Believe that the intruder is trying to rob, kidnap, sexually assault, or murder them
  • Was aware that the intruder entered their home, vehicle, or place of business illegally and by force
  • Believe that they are being or have already been kidnapped

Can You Legally Protect Someone Else with Deadly Force?

In certain instances, someone can use deadly force to defend another person. If the person impacted would be legally justified in using deadly force, then you can legally do it for them. But it’s important to ensure that you have the right to use force, otherwise, you can be criminally charged should someone else become injured or should die as a result of your actions. You can’t defend someone who is responsible. Therefore, you can’t defend a friend who is in a fight with someone else by using deadly force if they were the one who started it to begin with. 

The Attorneys at Ceja Law Firm Help Those in Houston Who Have Been Charged with a Crime

If you have been charged with a crime in Texas, it is important to take the situation very seriously – even if you were acting in self-defense.

At Ceja Law Firm PLLC, we understand the serious nature of criminal charges and the impact that it can have on your life. That’s why we will work to help you obtain the best possible outcome. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!