Author Topic: Legality: deadly force & carjacking  (Read 3569 times)

centuryhouse

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Legality: deadly force & carjacking
« on: April 11, 2014, 04:36:22 PM »
I am a little confused by the wording of the law when it comes to deadly force and property theft, as it applies to a car theft, or carjacking. It seems to make a distinction between daytime and night time theft, and the wording about recoverable property is unclear to me.

Obviously it is hoped that deadly force wouldn't be needed, but as hypothetical situations, what is legal?

1) I look out my house and see someone in my car, having hot-wired it. I confront them, order them to stop, and they begin to put the car in 'drive' instead. [I do not have full coverage (repair or replacement of the car), so I cannot apply for money to replace it if stolen or damaged]. What level of force is allowable, and is the answer different if it is daytime or night time?

2) Given the same parameters (no full coverage, my sole transportation and necessary for my livelihood); it is daytime and while driving I see someone broken down, and get out to give assistance. The person pushes past me and gets into my car, and I command them to stop and exit. They put the still running car into gear. They have no visible weapon other than the car itself; there is some disparity of force (size, age, health). What level of force is lawful? And what if beyond putting the car in drive, they are now driving off?

Thank you for your clarification of the law on these hypothetical scenarios, in advance.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Guest »

switch

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Re: Legality: deadly force & carjacking
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2014, 05:01:46 PM »
1.  Yes, you can use deadly force to stop theft at night.  Insured or not has NO relevance.  (If it's not worth insurance, can you afford the attorney's fees?)  It will cost more to defend than to replace the car.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Guest »

TexasLawShield

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Re: Legality: deadly force & carjacking
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2014, 02:25:16 PM »
The first scenario you have laid out is considered burglary of a motor vehicle. Burglary is a crime in which Texas law tells us you can use deadly force. Keep in mind there has been no appellate decision making a distinction between burglary of a motor vehicle and just plain burglary when it comes to the use of deadly force. With burglary you may use deadly force during the daytime or nighttime.

As for the second scenario, the law says that if someone is immediately fleeing after committing a burglary, and you reasonably believe that the property will not be recovered, or that you will not be able to recover the car without sustaining death or serious bodily injury, then you may use deadly force. However, you actions must be reasonable, and a jury will make the determination of whether you were reasonable to shoot at a person fleeing the commission of a crime.

It is probably not a good idea to use deadly force in this situation.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Guest »

centuryhouse

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Re: Legality: deadly force & carjacking
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2014, 11:13:49 AM »
Thank you for the insight!
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Guest »