Laws about using deadly force against an intruder are sometimes called "castle doctrine" laws. These laws provide a defense from prosecution if the person was defending themselves, another person, or property. The use of force must meet certain justifiable conditions.
What are the "castle doctrine" laws in Texas?
Using a potentially deadly weapon like a firearm is generally considered deadly force. Deadly force is defined in Section 9.01(3) of the Texas Penal Code:
"Deadly force" means force that is intended or known by the actor to cause, or in the manner of its use or intended use is capable of causing, death or serious bodily injury.
Subchapter C describes when the use of deadly force is justified to protect a person. This subchapter includes provisions for self-defense.
Subchapter D discusses when the use of deadly force is justified to protect property.
The law can be complex, so you may wish to talk to an attorney before taking any action. For more information on finding an attorney, please see the library's Legal Help page.
Can you shoot a person if you catch them committing adultery with your spouse?
No. This law was repealed in 1973 and no longer exists.
"Adultery as justification” law was in Article 1220 of the old Texas Penal Code. It was repealed by Senate Bill 34 during the 63rd Legislature's regular session.
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