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What's the Trespassing Law in Texas?

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What's the Trespassing Law in Texas?

Postby patwin87 » Sat Oct 29, 2011 11:46 pm

I live in Texas and I keep hearing that you can shoot someone if they're trespassing on your property. I've heard this from the guys who had built my fence for me. My husband and I have been having trouble with different people driving up in our driveway and getting out asking us for money, since we're the only two story house in the neighborhood. We've also had people coming onto our property trying to cut our grass without our permission. Neighbors and different people cutting across our yard for the hell of it, then saying "Oh, I didn't know someone was living here". There are two vehicles parked in our carport that belongs to my husband and I. Also we'll get people ringing our door bell asking if we have a job for them. We've also had people drive over our property for the hell of it. We've had our PRIVATE PROPERTY NO TRESPASSING, KEEP OUT, BEWARE OF DOG, AND KEEP OFF GRASS signs up for months every since we bought our new home. We put up the fence since we have been having trouble, but it still isn't enough for the idiots to keep away from our private property. I don't know if it's just our neighborhood of idiots or people are just too lazy to read. The signs don't seem to work at all. People seem like they're either dumb, illiterate, or just rude. It's not hard to read a simple sign and get a clue not to trespass. I was in Police Academy, but my Texas Criminal and Traffic Law Manual is out of date (2007 to 2008). I'm sure by now that the laws have changed, since they change every two years. Anyway, if anyone has an answer or a suggestion, please let me know I would appreciate it.
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What's the Trespassing Law in Texas?

Postby pannoowau » Sat Oct 29, 2011 11:50 pm

I suspect you are referring to the Castle Doctrine or Castle Law.

You should read the law in the link below and be extremely careful how you go about "protecting" your property and self.

One MAIN issue of the Castle Doctrine is that you MUST be countering a force that a reasonable person would expect to cause serious bodily harm or death.

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What's the Trespassing Law in Texas?

Postby arvad » Sat Oct 29, 2011 11:58 pm

Four words: Trespassers Shot on Sight
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What's the Trespassing Law in Texas?

Postby burt » Sun Oct 30, 2011 12:07 am

ur gonna get shot.
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What's the Trespassing Law in Texas?

Postby jabarl » Sun Oct 30, 2011 12:09 am

First you can not use deadly force to stop someone from trespassing.
(notice in neither section is trespassing listed)

But you can use force to stop them, and make them leave.

For someone to commit trespassing you must "give notice". Notice means:
(A) oral or written communication by the owner or someone with apparent authority to act for the owner;
(B) fencing or other enclosure obviously designed to exclude intruders or to contain livestock;
(C) a sign or signs posted on the property or at the entrance to the building, reasonably likely to come to the attention of intruders, indicating that entry is forbidden;
(D) the placement of identifying purple paint marks on trees or posts on the property, provided that the marks are:
(i) vertical lines of not less than eight inches in length and not less than one inch in width;
(ii) placed so that the bottom of the mark is not less than three feet from the ground or more than five feet from the ground; and
(iii) placed at locations that are readily visible to any person approaching the property and no more than:
(a) 100 feet apart on forest land; or
(b) 1,000 feet apart on land other than forest land; or
(E) the visible presence on the property of a crop grown for human consumption that is under cultivation, in the process of being harvested, or marketable if harvested at the time of entry.

The problem is you can not arrest for criminal trespassing (yes, a citizen can make an arrest for a felony or breach of peace).

All you can do is call the police (which isn't going to solve much) or start being rude back. As soon as you see them tell them they are trespassing and you can use force to make them leave under Chapter 9.41 of the Texas Penal Code. If they refuse to leave then it is up to you if you want to use force or call the police.

Since other have mentioned the use of deadly force I will explain the law (there is a lot of misconception).

You can only THREATEN deadly force if deadly force is justifiable. So if you are legally able to pull a gun on someone you are also legally able to shoot them.

You can use deadly force if:
(a) A person is justified in using deadly force against another:
(1) if the actor would be justified in using force against the other under Section 9.31; and
(2) when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the deadly force is immediately necessary:
(A) to protect the actor against the other's use or attempted use of unlawful deadly force; or
(B) to prevent the other's imminent commission of aggravated kidnapping, murder, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, robbery, or aggravated robbery.
Notice that it lists crimes for which you can use deadly force, so you do not always have to be in fear of your life.

So you can use deadly force to stop the above mentioned crimes. Notice trespassing is not listed. You can not use deadly force to stop trespassing. Go to the link below to look up these crimes because you must be sure that they are committing these crimes.

(b) The actor's belief under Subsection (a)(2) that the deadly force was immediately necessary as described by that subdivision is presumed to be reasonable if the actor:
(1) knew or had reason to believe that the person against whom the deadly force was used:
(A) unlawfully and with force entered, or was attempting to enter unlawfully and with force, the actor's occupied habitation, vehicle, or place of business or employment;
(B) unlawfully and with force removed, or was attempting to remove unlawfully and with force, the actor from the actor's habitation, vehicle, or place of business or employment;

What this is saying is it is presumed under that law that if someone breaks into your home, business, or vehicle that it is reasonably to use deadly force. you do not have to wait to see if they are a threat, you can assume that they are a threat.

(c) A person who has a right to be present at the location where the deadly force is used, who has not provoked the person against whom the deadly force is used, and who is not engaged in criminal activity at the time the deadly force is used is not required to retreat before using deadly force as described by this section.

You can not use deadly force if you are committing a crime or provoked the situation
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What's the Trespassing Law in Texas?

Postby collyer » Sun Oct 30, 2011 12:11 am

No,,you cannot shoot somebody trespassing on your lawn, you cannot shoot somebody at your front door, you cannot shoot somebody in your back yard, you cannot shoot somebody breaking into your car during daylight hours,,,you can shoot someone in your house, you can shoot someone threatening your life, you can shoot someone stealing your car after dark.

I don't know where you live but it sounds like one screwed up neighborhood, I live in Houston and not once has anyone knocked on my door asking for money. (begging for money I should say, get lots of solicitors) Perhaps you could get an actual dog instead of a sign, plant some shrubbery around the front yard, some motion sensitive lighting, something.
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