The so-called “Castle Doctrine” has long stood for the proposition that a person is entitled to use deadly force as a means of defending his or her home from an intruder. However, a modification has recently been proposed for the Castle Doctrine in the State of Texas as part of House Bill 196. Under the proposed modification, prior to using any type of deadly force to defend a dwelling place (such as with a firearm), the resident would first need to retreat.
If you are currently facing a criminal charge involving a person or property, the experienced Austin criminal defense lawyers at Granger and Mueller PC are ready to help. Our team can discuss the facts and circumstances of the criminal offense with you and assist you in formulating a defense to the charge – and/or with mitigating the potential consequences of a criminal conviction.
Please give us a call today to find out more about how we could help defend you against your criminal charge and zealously represent you throughout your criminal case.
What is the Proposed Modification to the Texas Castle Doctrine?
The original Castle Doctrine, which allows a homeowner to use deadly force when defending his or her property from attackers or intruders, was passed by the Texas State Legislature back in 2007. House Bill 196 was recently introduced into the legislature by State Representative Terry Meza.
Under the proposed bill (which has not yet passed the legislature), a homeowner would still be permitted to defend his or her home through the use of deadly force. However, in order to do so, the resident must reasonably believe that using deadly force was imminently necessary under the circumstances that existed at that time. Moreover, the homeowner must not have provoked the individual in any way, must not have been engaged in some type of criminal activity, and must have been on the property legally. In addition, the home resident cannot use deadly force against the intruder unless he or she is unable to first retreat from the premises safely.
So far, the bill has been debated forcefully in the Texas State Legislature. Proponents of the modification feel that the Castle Doctrine – as is – encourages homeowners to take justice into their own hands. They also believe that if the law is not modified, homeowners might be encouraged to use deadly force to defend against a petty theft committed in the area outside their homes, such as the theft of a lawn ornament.
Speak to an Experienced Austin Criminal Defense Lawyer About Your Case Today
If you are facing a pending criminal charge, the knowledgeable legal team at Granger and Mueller PC is here to help. We can review the facts of your case with you and determine if you are eligible to assert a successful defense to the charge.
For a free case evaluation and legal consultation with a knowledgeable Austin criminal defense attorney, please call us today at 512-474-9999 or contact us online for more information about how we could assist you with planning your defense.