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Understanding Self-Defense Laws in Texas: Can You Shoot an Intruder on Your Property?

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Austin Assault LawyerWhen it comes to protecting one’s property and personal safety, it is crucial to understand the self-defense laws in Texas. While Texas law generally supports an individual’s right to defend themselves, it is important to know the specific circumstances under which you can shoot an intruder on your property. If you shot someone on your property and are now being charged with a crime, contact a criminal defense attorney right away, as this may be the only way to ensure your rights are protected moving forward in your case.

Self-Defense Laws in Texas

Under the Texas Penal Code, individuals are generally allowed to use force, including deadly force, to protect themselves or others in certain situations. One such situation is when you reasonably believe that the use of force is immediately necessary to protect yourself against an intruder who unlawfully attempts to enter your occupied habitation, business, or vehicle. Texas law grants people the right to stand their ground and defend their property in such circumstances.

Castle Doctrine or “Stand Your Ground” Laws 

The Texas Castle Doctrine, also known as the “Stand Your Ground” law, asserts that Texans have no duty to retreat from a person using force against them wherever they have a right to be, including their own property. This doctrine allows individuals to use deadly force, if necessary, against intruders who enter their homes unlawfully. As long as you reasonably feared imminent harm or death, you may employ necessary force to protect yourself or others from an intruder. 

Mitigating Factors

While Texas leans towards protecting the rights of property owners, it is essential to consider some mitigating factors. For instance, the Castle Doctrine does not extend to situations where a person invites someone onto their property. Additionally, if you were also engaged in criminal activity or were in a public place, the use of force may not be protected under self-defense laws.

Contact an Austin, Texas Criminal Defense Lawyer

Ultimately, in Texas, you can shoot an intruder on your property if you believe that person is there to harm you or others. It is essential, however, to fully understand the state’s self-defense laws and any exceptions that may apply. Consulting an attorney who focuses their legal work on criminal defense can help provide further clarity on self-defense rights in Texas. For legal help, contact the skilled Midland Texas criminal defense attorneys with Morales Law Office, Attorneys at Law, PLLC.. Call 512-474-2222 for a free consultation. 



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