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Old 06-21-2013, 02:20 AM   #21
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I'll just beat the intruder to death with a table leg.

The cops can have that, if they want...

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Old 06-21-2013, 02:53 AM   #22
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The answer depends on a lot of different factors, the main ones being the laws of the state where you live, and the policies and practices of the law enforcement agency investigating the shooting.

I was an assistant district attorney in Fort Worth for four years, then was in private practice for almost 20 years, and was board certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in criminal law for most of that time. Criminal law made up about 70% of my caseload. I have done over 300 felony trials,most of them violent crimes. I tried cases over much of Texas.

In most places in Texas, if: (1) you are in your own home; and (2) the intruder is armed, you will probably not be arrested, unless there are unusual circumstances. The weapon will almost always be confiscated while the investigation proceeds, and you will likely need a court order to get it back, even if you are cleared. The case may or may not be presented to a grand jury. In these circumstances you will usually come out allright.

The important thing to tell the cops is that you were afraid for your life, or the life of someone in the house. You did it to prevent death or serious bodily injury to yourself or your loved ones. Do not brag about it; do not say the dead guy deserved it; if fact, say as little as possible until you talk to a lawyer. DO NOT GO INTO THE POLICE STATION TO GIVE A STATEMENT WITHOUT AN ATTORNEY. DO NOT BRAG ABOUT IT TO YOUR FRIENDS-- DO NOT SAY ANYTHING ABOUT IT TO YOUR FRIENDS WHILE THE INVESTIGATION IS PENDING. Do not post about it on Facebook.

If the person turns to run when he sees the gun, do not shoot him when he is fleeing. Let the sucker go.

A shooting is always serious business, and most cops don't have a sense of humor about a dead body. At least not in front of civilians.

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Old 06-21-2013, 03:05 AM   #23
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just a curiosity question for those "more in the know" than myself.

aren't the "castle doctrines" and other similar laws meant to protect you legally in use of self defense against a potential deadly threat in your home? don't these laws also protect form civil suits?

i'd like to think if someone i don't know is coming in my window or door uninvited , that i may protect my family as needed? i thought that was the whole purpose of these types of laws?

and what does "armed" have to do with someone in your home without your consent? imo, anyone with ARMS is armed! and anyone could be carrying a weapon that is not visible....are you supposed to ask?

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Old 06-21-2013, 03:18 AM   #24
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just a curiosity question for those "more in the know" than myself.

aren't the "castle doctrines" and other similar laws meant to protect you legally in use of self defense against a potential deadly threat in your home? don't these laws also protect form civil suits?

i'd like to think if someone i don't know is coming in my window or door uninvited , that i may protect my family as needed? i thought that was the whole purpose of these types of laws?

and what does "armed" have to do with someone in your home without your consent? imo, anyone with ARMS is armed! and anyone could be carrying a weapon that is not visible....are you supposed to ask?
Technically if you were in fear for your life you would have to make that decision.
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Old 06-21-2013, 03:25 AM   #25
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just a curiosity question for those "more in the know" than myself.

aren't the "castle doctrines" and other similar laws meant to protect you legally in use of self defense against a potential deadly threat in your home? don't these laws also protect form civil suits?

i'd like to think if someone i don't know is coming in my window or door uninvited , that i may protect my family as needed? i thought that was the whole purpose of these types of laws?

and what does "armed" have to do with someone in your home without your consent? imo, anyone with ARMS is armed! and anyone could be carrying a weapon that is not visible....are you supposed to ask?

The Texas Castle Law does not give one carte blanche to shoot anyone in their home. What the current Castle Law does is remove the prior requirment that one be "reasonably" in fear of death or serious bodily injury, and that they could not reasonably retreat from the situation. Under the new law there is no duty to "retreat" if possible. However, the shooting still must be "reasonable". There is no requirement per se that the intruder be armed (however, that was the scenerio posed), but the fact that the intruder WAS armed strengthens the reasonableness element of self defense. You can't legally shoot someone entering your home unless a reasonable person would conclude that the intruder meant harm to the occupants.
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Old 06-21-2013, 03:34 AM   #26
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The Texas Castle Law does not give one carte blanche to shoot anyone in their home. What the current Castle Law does is remove the prior requirment that one be "reasonably" in fear of death or serious bodily injury, and that they could not reasonably retreat from the situation. Under the new law there is no duty to "retreat" if possible. However, the shooting still must be "reasonable". There is no requirement per se that the intruder be armed (however, that was the scenerio posed), but the fact that the intruder WAS armed strengthens the reasonableness element of self defense. You can't legally shoot someone entering your home unless a reasonable person would conclude that the intruder meant harm to the occupants.
that makes sense overall. but how can one conclude that the intruder meant harm? wouldn't the fact that they are entering an occupied home uninvited at least present that as a serious possibility?

someone breaking in your house at 3am is rarely to bring you flowers....however, pretty hard to PROVE they meant you harm. and if they survive a shooting in self defense, i'm sure they will claim they meant no harm at all.

no one has the capability to read the intruders mind and determine if they want the stereo or want to rape your wife.
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Old 06-21-2013, 03:39 AM   #27
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that makes sense overall. but how can one conclude that the intruder meant harm? wouldn't the fact that they are entering an occupied home uninvited at least present that as a serious possibility?
There is no clear, bright line. Time of day is one factor -- 12 noon or 12 midnight? How are they entering -- breaking a window or coming in through an unlocked door? Being armed is one big factor. Are they uttering threats, or shouting "yooohooo, is anybody home"? Is it a complete stranger, or your daughter's boyfriend?

Complete certainity is not required -- just that a reasonable person would believe that the intruder more likely than not posed a threat.

It all depends on the totality of the circumstances, and the gray areas keep attorneys like me in business.
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Old 06-21-2013, 03:40 AM   #28
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Technically if you were in fear for your life you would have to make that decision.
honestly, any person i do not know breaking into my home would put me in fear of my life....but does that hold up in court?
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Old 06-21-2013, 03:42 AM   #29
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There is no clear, bright line. Time of day is one factor -- 12 noon or 12 midnight? How are they entering -- breaking a window or coming in through an unlocked door? Being armed is one big factor. Are they uttering threats, or shouting "yooohooo, is anybody home"? Is it a complete stranger, or your daughter's boyfriend?

It all depends on the totality of the circumstances, and the gray areas keep attorneys like me in business.
that makes sense, thanks for your time.
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Old 06-21-2013, 03:52 AM   #30
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honestly, any person i do not know breaking into my home would put me in fear of my life....but does that hold up in court?
I have found that, on the part of police officers, juries, and judges, there is an unwritten presumption that an unknown person trying to FORCE entry into your home means no good. But such a "presumption" is not absolute.
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