Local News

Dec 3, 2013 12:46 AM

What are Homeowners' Rights Under Castle Doctrine?

CORPUS CHRISTI - County Commissioner Joe McComb spent part of his morning trying to find out what happened at this home in his neighborhood that led to one man shot outside a home on Greenbriar Drive.

Police say it looks like a burglary gone bad for the man accused of trying to break in.

"Everyone has the right to self defense. That is one component for use of force, which is Chapter 9 in the Texas penal code," explains Corpus Christi police officer Kirk Stowers.

We wanted to know more about that law known as the Castle Doctrine, so we checked in with district attorney Mark Skurka.

"Essentially what that means is, under self defense, if somebody's using deadly force against you, you can use deadly force to repel their attack," Skurka told KRIS 6 News.

And it's not only deadly force that someone has to use against you before you can fire a shot.

Since the law changed in 2007, if someone is breaking into your car, house or business and you are inside and feel threatened, typically, you can use deadly force against them.

The key is you have to be inside while they're trying to get in.

"You drive up and you see this guy pulling a stereo out, does that mean you can necessarily shoot him?" Skurka posed. "No. You can't."

Most cases will still go before a grand jury to decide.

"They bring the case to us and then we review it and take it to the grand jury and see if the owner was justified in using self defense or deadly force to protect himself in self-defense."

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