(CBSDFW.COM) – Damage and destruction following some protests in North Texas and around the nation are sparking new conversations about protecting property in residential areas.
Although peaceful demonstrations remain in city centers, residents have seen them move into residential areas like suburbs.
Protests in North Texas have remained mostly peaceful, with most of the damage seen in downtown areas of Dallas over the weekend.
However, videos and pictures of the damage in Dallas and throughout the U.S. have some residents giving a warning to criminals about trespassing on their property.
This also comes as gun sales continue to surge, with more background checks done in the last month than the FBI has ever reported in the month of May.
Even though the castle doctrine in Texas gives some protection to people who are in their homes, businesses or even vehicles, one Fort Worth attorney said it doesn’t necessarily mean anything goes.
“Let’s say someone entered your property you pulled a gun and said ‘you better get off right now.’ That would be acceptable. But the actual use of deadly force for simply criminally trespassing is not allowed,” attorney Benson Varghese said. “In other words you can’t shoot them just because they entered your property. Of course you go inside your home, you close the door and they tried to get in using force, the situations changed.”
Varghese also said during the nighttime the law gives residents heightened rights to protect themselves from someone who may be using force to break in while they’re inside their property.
However, at the end of the day, a judge or jury will be determining if how a person protected themselves was “reasonable,” and it’ll be compared to what the other person was doing at the time.