When does Texas law allow you to use deadly force against theft and criminal mischief? How does the law define daytime and nighttime? Should you use deadly force to protect property alone? The Armed Attorneys break down the law of deadly force at nighttime for certain crimes and the practical application of Texas Penal Code 9.42 and Texas Penal Code 9.42
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Today we’re talking about whether the sun makes a difference in your deadly force rights we’re talking about criminal mischief and theft in the nighttime here in the state of Texas now there are some general takeaways here that can be applicable in other states though but we are discussing Texas law now stick around to the end because we have a pro tip about the difference between theft burglary and robbery you won’t want to miss… it’s really confusing it’s really hard to get through and it contains i think one of the stranger provisions of Texas law which is this um this option to use deadly force only during the night time which is 30 minutes after sunset up until 30 minutes before sunrise that’s the night time so it says the legislature um in defense against theft and criminal mischief and we’re just going to talk about what those things mean generally yeah generally so when we say theft what we’re talking about and this is this is a paraphrase but it’s exercising control over someone’s property without their consent that’s what theft is in the state of Texas and when we say criminal mischief we’re talking about destruction or damaging property without the owner’s consent and so we have this provision in Texas law where if there’s a theft in the nighttime taking place or there’s a criminal mischief in the night time taking place that the law says deadly force may be justified and can you give us a little bit of more detail on that m yeah so i mean bear in mind that may be justified just means you’re not automatically going to prison because you did it, it doesn’t mean that the jury is going to acquit you because a jury still has to say it was reasonable when he or she used deadly force in that circumstance they’re given no instruction i mean there are lots of uh places in the law in Texas where they’re given an instruction to presume the self-defender acted reasonably unless proven beyond a reasonable doubt that you did not no such thing with this so i mean there are i would say probably most circumstances in which this is really inadvisable i mean the kids come around at Halloween they start smashing your you know Halloween decorations and your pumpkins well that’s criminal mischief if you shoot those kids you’re going to prison right so just because the law says you could do it does not mean that you should because a jury gets to decide was that active deadly force reasonable yeah and what’s so fascinating about this provision of law is and we see a lot of cases that take place across the state of Texas if you are relying on defense of property alone if that’s the only thing you’re relying on for your use of force or deadly force juries in Texas do not like it there are three different hurdles of reasonableness that have to be overcome in order for them to find that your conduct would be justified and so that’s one of those things like Emily said while it may be on the books it is very rarely advised because it’s so infrequently successfully used at trial so you got to use extreme caution… the best example i know of to teach you the difference robbery is a personal defense crime burglary is you know a property crime breaking into something theft is just taking something so here’s what we’ve got you’re riding a bicycle someone comes and clotheslines you takes the bicycle from you you’ve been robbed you put your bicycle in the garage someone breaks into your garage to steal it that’s a burglary you just leave your bicycle in the driveway someone walks up and takes it that’s theft
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