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Old July 29, 2009, 11:46 AM   #51
bikerbill
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Hey, John .. my understanding of Texas law is that you are within your rights to shoot anybody stealing from you on your property ... I don't think I'd kill somebody over my old Miata ... just suggesting the law is on your side if you do ...
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Old July 29, 2009, 11:53 AM   #52
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I have stated this opinion before and gotten flamed mercilessly for it, but I still believe and I will still stand by it.

1) I am not shooting, let alone killing, anyone over stuff. Stuff can be replaced whether covered by insurance or not. If it is valuable enough stuff it should be secured one way or another. It can be locked up, chained and locked, or locked inside of a building. Hell, when I stored my 1967 Mustang in the garage for long periods of time I removed the battery and locked the car INSIDE the garage.

2) If the BG is inside my house, 911 will be called, either by me or my girlfriend, as we move to arm ourselves. Once the call and arming ourselves has been accomplished, from cover, those 2 facts will be announced to the BG. If he chooses to stay and continue his treasure hunt, and does not attempt to enter bedrooms, he will leave my home intact. If he chooses to enter OR attempt to enter bedrooms then he may end up not so fortunate.

3) Deadly force, for me is used ONLY to defend my self, my loved ones, OR other innocent victims. Not to stop them from stealing my personal property.

I do not presume to suggest anyone else follow my guidelines. But I also expect that no one get huffy with me if I choose not to shoot and possibly kill someone over a car stereo or any other replaceable item.
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Old July 29, 2009, 01:45 PM   #53
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our farm started getting visited at night so we started giving away free conabear traps with the free gas.

gave away 4 and suddenly they didnt want any more free gas.
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Old July 30, 2009, 12:05 AM   #54
JohnKSa
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Hey, John .. my understanding of Texas law is that you are within your rights to shoot anybody stealing from you on your property...
It's not nearly that simple. Under certain circumstances, TX law allows the use of deadly force to prevent the loss or damage of property. However, even that much leeway is unusual in deadly force laws.

And, as pointed out, being within your rights doesn't mean that the course of action taken is wise, tactically sound, or proof from civil prosecution.
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Old July 30, 2009, 12:19 AM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bikerbill
Hey, John .. my understanding of Texas law is that you are within your rights to shoot anybody stealing from you on your property ... I don't think I'd kill somebody over my old Miata ... just suggesting the law is on your side if you do ...
Hey, John, you should take Bill's advice, sounds like he really knows what he's talking about. Next time you see a thief on your property blast'em! Bill will be glad to represent you I'm sure.

There's a saying that goes something along the lines of, Ignorantia legis neminem excusat, or in english, "Ignorance of the law excuses no one".

A real PITA but very true.
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Old July 30, 2009, 12:55 AM   #56
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Deadly force, for me is used ONLY to defend my self, my loved ones, OR other innocent victims. Not to stop them from stealing my personal property.
My thoughts exactly. There is nothing I own that is worth me shooting, and possibly killing someone. If they are a threat to me or those around me, I will do what I have to, to protect myself and others.

If they aren't a direct and immediate threat, I will call the police, hope they get there in time, and whine and complain about the whole incident for a long time after, all the while glad I don't have somebody's death on my hands over a personal possession, no matter how worthless a human being they are.
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Old July 30, 2009, 12:56 AM   #57
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Im sorry that this has happened to you, i have been robbed before to. My suggestion would be to invest in an alarm system of some sorts. What i mean by that is if you dont have the money for such systems like ADT etc., i would get security lights with motion sensors. There is also a cheap alarm out there that is tripped by magnents for windows and such. Things that are worked hard for should not be given up easily.

Originally Posted by bikerbill
Hey, John .. my understanding of Texas law is that you are within your rights to shoot anybody stealing from you on your property ... I don't think I'd kill somebody over my old Miata ... just suggesting the law is on your side if you do ...

What bikerbill stated is true, and guess im on my own when saying i would blast a person even if they were stealing a shovel. Because if it was easy the first time why not do it again. People learn in two ways "Trauma and Repitition".
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Old July 30, 2009, 02:04 AM   #58
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Again, TX law does not state that you can: "shoot anybody stealing from you on your property". It is much more complicated than that.

There are CERTAIN circumstances that would legally justify shooting someone who is stealing from you on your property but it is a HUGE oversimplification to believe that shooting is justified by anybody stealing from you on your property.

It's far more accurate to say it's NOT justified and provide the exceptional circumstances that allow it than it is to say you're "within your rights to shoot anybody stealing from you on your property".

Here's the section of law involving defense of property. The applicable portions of the law take up about two pages of text and 500 words.

http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.u...htm/PE.9.htm#D
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Old July 30, 2009, 09:14 AM   #59
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...my understanding of Texas law is that you are within your rights to shoot anybody stealing from you on your property...
My lay understanding is that under t if one uses deadly force against a thief under the the following conditions...
  • The act happens during the night, and
  • The actor reasonably believes that the use of deadly force is immediately necessary to protect the property, and
  • The actor reasonably believes that the proparty cannot be protected or recovered in any other way....

...and the actor can produce sufficient evidence supporting his contention that all of the above conditions did in fact exist, he may successfully mount a defense of justifiability from the standpoint of criminal liability.

It is also my understanding that there is no provision in the Texas code that protects the actor from civil tort remedies if force or deadly force is used to defend property.
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Old July 30, 2009, 09:24 AM   #60
bababooey32
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Sec. 9.42. DEADLY FORCE TO PROTECT PROPERTY. A person is justified in using deadly force against another to protect land or tangible, movable property:

(1) if he would be justified in using force against the other under Section 9.41; and

(2) when and to the degree he reasonably believes the deadly force is immediately necessary:

(A) to prevent the other's imminent commission of arson, burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, theft during the nighttime, or criminal mischief during the nighttime; or

(B) to prevent the other who is fleeing immediately after committing burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, or theft during the nighttime from escaping with the property; and

(3) he reasonably believes that:

(A) the land or property cannot be protected or recovered by any other means; or

(B) the use of force other than deadly force to protect or recover the land or property would expose the actor or another to a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury.
Doesn't seem all that complicated to me. Seems there are fewer cases where deadly force is NOT justified in a property crime (i.e. simple theft during the daytime).'

9.42.2.A says I can act to prevent the commission of most property crimes or to prevent the actor from fleeing after committing most property crimes assuming I cannot stop them any other way, and the use of LTL force would put me in danger.

I just don't think it is as complicated as some wish it to make.

OLD MARKSMAN: The "theft at night" condition is one of many possible property crimes covered by the statute. Arson during the day is covered, as is burglary and robbery during the day.
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Old July 30, 2009, 10:28 AM   #61
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Hey, Trooper, my post was a question, not a suggestion .. as I said, I wouldn't dream of taking a life over property, unless other issues, such as danger to individuals, was involved ...
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Old July 30, 2009, 11:03 AM   #62
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OLD MARKSMAN: The "theft at night" condition is one of many possible property crimes covered by the statute. Arson during the day is covered, as is burglary and robbery during the day.
Yeah, but BikerBill spoke of "stealing" (that's theft). The OP was about an incident of theft at night somewhere.
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Old July 30, 2009, 11:45 PM   #63
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Quote:
Doesn't seem all that complicated to me.
You left out the first part of it. The deadly force section starts out with:

...if he would be justified in using force against the other under Section 9.41... You can't start with 9.42, you have to start with 9.41 and build on it.

Finally, do NOT forget about 9.42(3) which basically says you can't use deadly force unless it's the only way to recover/protect your property that doesn't expose you to the threat of serious injury or death. For example, if you could get the license plate number of the thief then you could call the police and you would reasonably believe that you would get your property back. Or if the property is insured you can recover it by other means than deadly force.

Also, burglary, robbery and aggravated robbery are not, strictly speaking, simply property crimes. They all involve either violence or significant threat to the defender in and of themselves.

What it comes down to in TX is that:

1. You can prevent arson with deadly force. That's largely because arson is considered a dangerous crime. Even if the original fire doesn't involve an immediate threat to life, fires have a way of spreading and even if they don't they can easily result in deaths or serious injuries before they're put out.

2. You can use deadly force to prevent criminal mischief at night and theft at night if:
  • You are in lawful posession of the property in question AND
  • You reasonably believe that only force will prevent the damage or loss of the property AND
  • You reasonably believe that immediate action is necessary to prevent the damage or loss of property AND
  • The force is used immediately or in "fresh pursuit" AND
  • You reasonably believe the person taking the property has no claim of right (no shooting the repo man) or you know the person took it by force, threat or fraud AND
  • You reasonably believe that deadly force is immediately necessary to prevent the crime or recover the property AND
  • You reasonably believe that there is no other way to prevent the crime or recover the property or that any other method would carry with it the risk of serious injury or death.

That is not nearly as simple as saying that "you are within your rights to shoot anybody stealing from you on your property", nor does it cover "most property crimes".
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Old August 5, 2009, 12:20 AM   #64
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JohnKSa wrote:

Quote:
Doesn't seem all that complicated to me.
You left out the first part of it. The deadly force section starts out with:

...if he would be justified in using force against the other under Section 9.41... You can't start with 9.42, you have to start with 9.41 and build on it.

Finally, do NOT forget about 9.42(3) which basically says you can't use deadly force unless it's the only way to recover/protect your property that doesn't expose you to the threat of serious injury or death. For example, if you could get the license plate number of the thief then you could call the police and you would reasonably believe that you would get your property back. Or if the property is insured you can recover it by other means than deadly force.

Also, burglary, robbery and aggravated robbery are not, strictly speaking, simply property crimes. They all involve either violence or significant threat to the defender in and of themselves.

What it comes down to in TX is that:

1. You can prevent arson with deadly force. That's largely because arson is considered a dangerous crime. Even if the original fire doesn't involve an immediate threat to life, fires have a way of spreading and even if they don't they can easily result in deaths or serious injuries before they're put out.

2. You can use deadly force to prevent criminal mischief at night and theft at night if:

* You are in lawful posession of the property in question AND
* You reasonably believe that only force will prevent the damage or loss of the property AND
* You reasonably believe that immediate action is necessary to prevent the damage or loss of property AND
* The force is used immediately or in "fresh pursuit" AND
* You reasonably believe the person taking the property has no claim of right (no shooting the repo man) or you know the person took it by force, threat or fraud AND
* You reasonably believe that deadly force is immediately necessary to prevent the crime or recover the property AND
* You reasonably believe that there is no other way to prevent the crime or recover the property or that any other method would carry with it the risk of serious injury or death.

That is not nearly as simple as saying that "you are within your rights to shoot anybody stealing from you on your property", nor does it cover "most property crimes".
When I wrote that there was no place in the US where you could kill a man over property, it caused a lot of folks from Texas to take a bite out of my posterior. I was told a lot of things, and not knowing a thing about Texas law, I just let it go and said, well maybe, I just don't know how things worked all over. I sure wish you had kicked in with your comment about then. I've done a bit of reading about the use of lethal force in various States and the Texas law always winds back to that "risk of serious injury or death" part. The one State that I would say had the most liberal laws concerning using use of lethal force would be Alaska, and I think that is because our biggest State is also the one where a person is most likely to be hours or days away from any kind of support from law enforcement agencies. Also, Alaska is the State where shooting someone who is stealing a man's boat or truck is closest to the old frontier standard of hanging a horse thief. He's a good example of this: you have run your aluminum boat across a lake to check your trap string on an island a half mile out. As you are coming back to your boat you see another boat with two men in it approach your boat. One man jumps into your boat and begins trying to start the outboard engine. If he takes your boat you will be stranded. The snow is already heavy, and real bad weather is coming in. The water is too cold to swim and being exposed to the elements for a long period of time may kill you. So, you drop your traps, sight your rifle on the man in your boat and kill him. If the man in the second boat responds in a life threatening manner, you also shoot him. As I thought about this while thinking of Alaska, by the time I finished writing it, I realized a trapper would be just as justified in shooting the thief if he was checking for deep winter pelts on an island in Lake Shasta; right here in good old California.

It's pure Hades having to consider killing someone; I know all too well. But that does not mean that if it happens again tonight that I will allow myself to be the victim. I don't expect 911 to ever arrive in time to save my life. I know because I have been the cop running code 3 to a 911 call and have seen the horrors that can be done in the 4 minutes and 28 seconds that passed since we took the call. 4 minutes and 28 seconds can seem like an eternity. While I was on the Department a 911 operator took a call from a woman who had a restraining order on her ex-husband, and had called because the man who had almost beat her to death before the divorce, was now beating on her front door with a framing hammer; the operator gave the call low priority. The single officer arrived 21 minutes later, and the blood in the kitchen was already congealing. The ex-husband was caught two days later trying to board a flight to Tahiti. The woman's family's civil suit was denied on the grounds that the emergency system does not have an obligation to arrive in time to save you. I believe this was upheld by Appellate, and Federal Courts. Combine this with the verdict against the police officers that stood back by their cars and watched the Rodney King incident, and why they were not forced by law to "step in" and stop the beating, that the police have no obligation to stop a crime in progress, and if you are really depending on the 911 and police for you life, then you are either heavily medicated or simple minded.
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Old August 7, 2009, 11:19 AM   #65
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I would only use lethal force to protect myself or someone else.

I would also caution anyone who thinks shooting out tires is a good option, to check the laws at their location first.

I really am sick of the criminals getting more protection than the victims, but not much we can do to change that.

It wasn't always like this, there's a well know story in my family about my great great Aunt. Apparently sometime during late 1950's, early 1960's, after she'd been widowed, she had her property invaded several times in the course of a month. Stuff taken, or vandalized.

Apparently the Sheriff in her county told her that if they came back she should call his home, and he'd come over and help her drag the bodies inside her home before they called the police.

Now somehow, the fact the sheriff told her this got out and became general knowledge in the county, and she never had any more trouble...

Now personally, if I hear someone taking the stuff outside my house at night, I'm gonna arm myself, and get a camera and try to get some info to help the police. I'm not gonna shoot out tires, or go confront the thieves.

I'm going to try to get plates, and pics of faces.

If they're inside the house, it depends, but far more likely to end in shooting, cause my family is there too, and that gives me less options of just letting them search and take what they want.
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Old August 10, 2009, 04:48 PM   #66
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The original poster is in WEST VIRGINIA. States are unique on the subject of
using deadly force to protect property.

No one's brought up Louisiana, which started from The Napoleonic Code, that holds property over people. Now, I've only got history on it, but, the law used to be that you could shoot any intruder on your land, period. Why? The law expected everyone to know trespassing was a shootable offense, including police officers.

That said, any discussion of this issue should be confined to the state you are in. Then, you need to look at the local case law, and, how those statutes have been applied.

Couple other thoughts. Police generally are the worst people to get legal advice from. They don't even have a four year college degree, as a general rule, much less a law degree, and, on top of that, usually the Police Chief seems to have his own idea of the law, regardless of statute. He is also usually an under educated police officer, that's come up through the ranks.

Your DA is an elected official, and, he's going to be the one filing charges.
In general, get your own attorney, do not talk to police, press, etc.

Your police chief is also an elected official. If you live in San Francisco, you better not even have a gun. Just go out, give the guy the keys to the ATV, and forget it.
My point is knowing your political surroundings, since both of the people that are going to make your life a living Hell are elected officials.

Anyone taking advice from people that are not in your area, and attorneys, familiar with your local area laws, and, the local political situation, ought to seek a shrink...

One thing, in particular. With a Class 3, I would find an attorney, and discuss your area, and using any full auto weapon for any sort of defense. Actually, I'd put a good one on retainer...
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Old August 17, 2009, 06:21 AM   #67
LanceOregon
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hadinsurance on the ATV but of cours enot on the Stihl..
As others have said, check your homeowner's insurance.

--

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Old August 17, 2009, 06:46 AM   #68
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Here in Oregon it is legal to use deadly force against a burglar that is inside your residence, or is attempting to break into your dwelling. It would not be legal to use deadly force against someone stealing from outside your dwelling, such as stealing from your yard, a shed, or a barn.

A person really has to know their own state's law.


Oregon Revised Statutes § 161.219

Limitations on use of deadly physical force in defense of a person


Notwithstanding the provisions of ORS 161.209 (Use of physical force in defense of a person), a person is not justified in using deadly physical force upon another person unless the person reasonably believes that the other person is:

(1) Committing or attempting to commit a felony involving the use or threatened imminent use of physical force against a person; or

(2) Committing or attempting to commit a burglary in a dwelling; or

(3) Using or about to use unlawful deadly physical force against a person. [1971 c.743 §23]



---
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Old August 17, 2009, 06:54 AM   #69
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Didn't read this entire thread, so maybe it's already been said but...

It's a personal decision. Is the property being stolen worth the risk of confrontation? If it's insured, I'd say not. If it's not, can you afford to replace it, and do you NEED it? If it's farm equipment, I'm pretty sure every struggling farmer would say it's worth protecting.

But anything worth protecting is worth doing so prior to the incident as well. Get motion sensors, floodlights, and an alarm. Get cameras and have a monitor in the house. If you have enough valuables outside, put a joystick on the camera so you can pan and zoom. If the guy came in a vehicle, zoom in on the license plate and let him take what he wants.

If you have anything that's worth bringing a gun out for, you should put some theft preventative measures into effect.

Not lecturing you by the way, very sorry for your loss and glad that your family is okay. Just answering this request:

Quote:
Any advice here would be great...
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