Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Texas Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground Bill

On March 12th, SB 378 (Relating to the use of force or deadly force in defense of a person) was voted upon and passed in the State Senate. The vote passed with 30 Yeas and 0 Nays.

On Monday, the 19th, Representative Driver made a motion to substitute SB 378 for the House version of the same bill (HB 284). This motion passed and SB 378 was placed before the house and read into public record.

Today SB 378 was read for the third time in the House and was voted upon by the members of the Texas State House and passed. The voted passed with 133 yeas and 13 Nays. One member stated on the public record that he intended to vote Nay, so the vote would have been 132 Yeas and 14 Nays.

All that is left is for Governor Perry to sign the dotted line, and Texas will have a Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground Law. This law will go into effect on September 1st.

Here is the text of the bill.

A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
AN ACT


relating to the use of force or deadly force in defense of a person.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:

SECTION 1. Section 9.01, Penal Code, is amended by adding Subdivisions (4) and (5) to read as follows:

(4) "Habitation" has the meaning assigned by Section 30.01.

(5) "Vehicle" has the meaning assigned by Section 30.01.



SECTION 2. Section 9.31, Penal Code, is amended by amending Subsection (a) and adding Subsections (e) and (f) to read as follows:

(a) Except as provided in Subsection (b), a person is justified in using force against another when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to protect the actor against the other's use or attempted use of unlawful force. The actor's belief that the force was immediately necessary as described by this subsection is presumed to be reasonable if the actor:

(1) knew or had reason to believe that the person against whom the 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; or

(C) was committing or attempting to commit aggravated kidnapping, murder, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, robbery, or aggravated robbery;

(2) did not provoke the person against whom the force was used; and

(3) was not otherwise engaged in criminal activity, other than a Class C misdemeanor that is a violation of a law or ordinance regulating traffic at the time the force was used.

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

(f) For purposes of Subsection (a), in determining whether an actor described by Subsection (e) reasonably believed that the use of force was necessary, a finder of fact may not consider whether the actor failed to retreat.



SECTION 3. Section 9.32, Penal Code, is amended to read as follows:

Sec. 9.32. DEADLY FORCE IN DEFENSE OF PERSON.

(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 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.

(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; or

(C) was committing or attempting to commit an offense described by Subsection (a)(2)(B);

(2) did not provoke the person against whom the force was used; and

(3) was not otherwise engaged in criminal activity, other than a Class C misdemeanor that is a violation of a law or ordinance regulating traffic at the time the force was used.

(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.

(d) For purposes of Subsection (a)(2), in determining whether an actor described by Subsection (c) reasonably believed that the use of deadly force was necessary, a finder of fact may not consider whether the actor failed to retreat.



SECTION 4. Section 83.001, Civil Practice and Remedies Code, is amended to read as follows:

Sec. 83.001. CIVIL IMMUNITY. A defendant who uses force or deadly force that is justified under Chapter 9 Penal Code, is immune from civil liability for personal injury or death that results from the defendant's use of force or deadly force, as applicable.



SECTION 5.

(a) Sections 9.31 and 9.32, Penal Code, as amended by this Act, apply only to an offense committed on or after the effective date of this Act. An offense committed before the effective date of this Act is covered by the law in effect when the offense was committed, and the former law is continued in effect for this purpose. For the purposes of this subsection, an offense is committed before the effective date of this Act if any element of the offense occurs before the effective date.

(b) Section 83.001, Civil Practice and Remedies Code, as amended by this Act, applies only to a cause of action that accrues on or after the effective date of this Act. An action that accrued before the effective date of this Act is governed by the law in effect at the time the action accrued, and that law is continued in effect for that purpose.



SECTION 6. This Act takes effect September 1, 2007.


That is pretty much it in a nut shell.

Oh...

Who were the dissenters? Who were the ones would deny a Texan the ability to use lawful force against a goblin?

A list of the usual suspects:

Representative Lon Burnam - Representative Garnet Coleman - Representative Dawnna Dukes - Representative Harold Dutton - Representative Jessica Farrar - Representative Ana E. Hernandez - Representative Terri Hodge - Representative Donna Howard - Representative Barbara Mallory Caraway - Representative Ruth McClendon - Representative Borris Miles - Representative Paul Moreno - Representative Senfronia Thompson and the member who stated:

I was shown voting yes... I intended to vote no.
Representative Elliott Naishtat

If your representative is on this list, and you would have preferred they voted for this bill, write and let them know. More importantly, if your representative supported this legislation, write and tell them thanks. Showing our appreciation for their support will go a long way towards maintaining their support on future legislation.

For and update on the Texas Castle Doctrine law, click here

18 comments:

Fodder said...

This comment is off topic.

I just posted a link you your site. If you would prefer I not link you, let me know and I'll take it down.

Thanks,
Fodder

JR said...

No problem fodder, links are a good thing.

Fits said...

Now the wait to determine which prosecutors will disregard the law and establish No-Castle enclaves.

Otherwise, it's a great start and about time Texas had such doctrine. Next up; do away with those silly 30.06 signs.

Anonymous said...

**I am RELIEVED this will get passed-the judges in this area (Orange County,TX) are crooked, and I have told the police,judge over my divorce that my ex-husband made a PROMISE TO KILL ME, and they are flippant about it. I AM NOT. He has tried to break in before-and nothing was done-NOW I can do something to stop his terrorism, and stop him from killing me.Anywhere he tries again.

Anonymous said...

Could you give some information about where you got the actual text of the Castle Doctrine, please?

I live in Texas.

-ck

JR said...

ck:

Here is SB 378:

http://www.legis.state.tx.us/tlodocs/80R/billtext/html/SB00378F.htm

To read it as written into law, you need to go to the Texas Penal Code, Section 9.31 and 9.32.

§ 9.31. SELF-DEFENSE is here:

http://tlo2.tlc.state.tx.us/statutes/docs/PE/content/htm/pe.002.00.000009.00.htm#9.31.00

§ 9.32. DEADLY FORCE IN DEFENSE OF PERSON is here:

http://tlo2.tlc.state.tx.us/statutes/docs/PE/content/htm/pe.002.00.000009.00.htm#9.32.00

Section 83.001 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code can be found here:

http://tlo2.tlc.state.tx.us/statutes/docs/CP/content/htm/cp.004.00.000083.00.htm#83.001.00

I hope that helps.

Anonymous said...

JR,

Thank you for the information.

Hurrah for the D.C. vs. Heller decision!

-CK

JR said...

CK; Roger that, DC v Heller is worth celebrating.

Rosie said...

This is a great site. Thank you for your information. I THANK YOU I SALUTE YOU IT,S A AMZING SITE.

JR said...

rosie; Thank you very much for your kind words.

jennifer said...

thank god this law is in effect now. i no longer have to live in fear of my x brother in law coming and killing me and my daughter i now impowered to stand my ground and defend my daughter and my self after informing the police of the threats and nothing was done i can now defend my self should he come after us.thank god for level heads in the governers office to put this in to law for single mothers that hide in fear of threats from x husbands or x boyfriends we now can legally defend out selves.

Anonymous said...

I have a question for you guys about this. I live in Texas at an apartment complex and there is a guy here that lives above me. He gets drunk all the time and has had the cops called on him numerous times. He will come and knock / bang on your door in the middle of the night wanting to scream and fight with you. Now for my question, I have two misdemeanors (criminal mischief and evading arrest). If I answer the door to him and don't even go outside with the gun at side or in my pocket would I get in trouble for defending my family (not shooting him but telling him to leave with the gun insight) because I have two felony's ? I guess I want to know, can I still defend my self and family even though I have two felony's ?

Anonymous said...

well if you have 2 felonies you cant have a gun. so it wouldnt be a good idea!

Anonymous said...

If you have felonies, you may legally own and purchase a "pre-charged high powerd air guns"

You may search the Internet for 9mm air gun or search for the Evanix Renegade .22 cal Pistol, the Evanix .22 cal Hunting Master AR6, the Beeman Falcon PCP Carbine Semi-Auto 8 Shot .22 cal Rifle or other high powered air guns. They make up to a .50 cal airgun with enough force to kill a human being. All of these weapons are "non ATF classified" guns. You cant go hunting with them.

I too have a felony on my record. Nothing like yours...but the same effect as far as owing a gun.

These guns are a great alternative.

The .50 cal hits like a 12 ga. slug and with just about as much energy.

Head shots would be recommeneded.

-Texas resident
-Glad I have a right to kill someone.

The only other way you can use a gun is if the intruder had one and you somehow took it from them and used it against them.

Anonymous said...

When is entry considered "unlawful"? I had a boyfriend attempt to enter my home with force. I own the home and he had only been staying overnight periodically. He pays no rent etc. He has a residence with his family in another city and pays rent there, eats there, gets his mail there.... He sent a txt message assuring me that he was going to break my door down after I attempted to end our relationship and has made several threats of physical harm. I acted in accordance with Texas law under the belief that he had NO RIGHT to enter my home. No one was injured but I am now being threatened with deadly conduct charges because he says he lived there. HELP!

Jenny said...

so the man claims to have been living there does he have proof of that address being his if not hes up the creek not you ,you can claim to live any where but proof is always needed to back that up .

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