Have you ever pictured what it would be like if you had to use deadly force to defend your life or property? It’s not a scene anyone would want to encounter. In Texas, many residents are zealous about practicing their 2nd Amendment right and defending their property. But, at what cost is this acceptable?
When you look at it from a law standpoint, Shawn McDonald of SMB Criminal Defense Lawyers breaks deadly force down from a practical approach. “Do not get in a gunfight over something other than someone’s life, your life, or your family’s life,” says McDonald. Even if your actions are justified in a threat against your property, you have to consider the repercussions if something would happen to you. What would you be willing to potentially lose your life over?
When you face a threat, choosing to reciprocate with violence doesn’t guarantee hard and fast rule for the outcome. You could stop the threat at the cost of your own life. You could stop the threat and in the eyes of the law, it was not absolutely necessary for you to injure or take another human life. McDonald recommends that replaceable items such as a wallet, items from a vehicle or home, and other similar possessions are not worth the risk. Deadly force should only be an option when a life is in invariable danger and the only way to live is to act in defense of yourself or someone else.
If you find yourself in a situation where you consider using deadly force, keep in mind that a jury would ask themselves if your behavior was reasonable. This is especially true if the assailant was not in possession of a weapon. You’ll be responsible to justify your behavior, which is ultimately a gray area and up to the discretion of a jury. Unless you know you are going to die, avoid pulling the trigger on someone else.