What Is the Castle Doctrine in a Texas Self-Defense Case?

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Though you may have considered the possibility of someone breaking into your home to take the measures to prevent it from happening, you can never truly prepare for this to happen. When faced with the threat of severe bodily harm or death, you may take the necessary measures to protect yourself. For many in Texas, this means defending your life and home with a weapon. If this reflects your circumstances, it’s imperative to keep reading to learn more about the laws surrounding these unfortunate situations and why you must connect with Houston criminal defense attorneys as soon as possible.

What Is the Castle Doctrine?

The Castle Doctrine is a self-defense law used to protect the rights of those who may have had to take necessary measures to protect themselves in their own home. The name originates from the common saying that “a man’s home is his castle.” Like a king, the homeowner has the right to protect themselves inside of their home by any means necessary.

Essentially, this doctrine states that if someone unlawfully enters your home and you reasonably fear for your life as a result of their presence, you can subdue the threat using deadly force. However, the use of the word reasonable here is essential. The courts must determine whether any reasonable person in the same situation would also fear for their life. As a rule of thumb, force is not justified based on verbal threats if you consented to the force or if you provoked the other party involved. If the intruder is attempting murder, sexual assault, robbery, or kidnapping, this is generally justifiable.

If you are in your home and someone breaks in and threatens you with bodily harm, you do not need to attempt to retreat before using deadly force on the threat. This is because Texas is a Stand Your Ground state, meaning homeowners do not have a duty to retreat before resorting to the use of deadly force.

What Should I Do if I Had to Protect Myself in My Home?

In the event you have to use deadly force to subdue a threat in your home, you must take immediate action to protect your rights. You should call 911 immediately. Additionally, you should speak to a lawyer as soon as possible. Though under the law, your actions are justified, ensuring you have an attorney to represent you and protect your rights.

At the Gonzalez Law Group, we understand how terrifying it can be to use deadly force inside your own home. That’s why our team is ready to assist you through these challenging times. When you work with us, we will fight to ensure your rights are protected every step of the way. Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you.