You were at home, and you heard something break in the kitchen. You recognize the sound of shattering glass, so you pick up your gun and head toward the sound. There, you find a person entering your house. He isn’t recognizable, and you can see he has a weapon, too. You realize you are being burgled, so you take the steps you need to keep your family safe.
You fired on the person entering your home, but he did not survive his injuries. Now, you face your own problems, because it’s been alleged that you hurt an innocent person.
Being accused of murder may shock you, especially if you were defending yourself. In Texas, you have a defense known as the stand your ground defense. Texan law recognizes that you do not need to retreat before using force to protect yourself or others.
The law states that those who are threatened with bodily harm or death may use force without having to retreat first. This law does not limit your right to use deadly force to your own property, either. You can choose to defend yourself anywhere within the state or any state with this law no matter where you are.
Other states may not have this law. For example, Ohio allows you to defend yourself with lethal force as long as you are on your own property. In other states, you must retreat or attempt to leave the situation before you are allowed to defend yourself with deadly force. If you are inside your home and safe, you may not use deadly force at all in those states. Duty-to-retreat states include Maine, Maryland, Iowa and others.
Our website has more information on protecting yourself against unfair allegations. You were within your rights to protect yourself.