Castle Doctrine with Alter Ego Principle

Castle Doctrine with Alter Ego Principle

This is a discussion on Castle Doctrine with Alter Ego Principle within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I am not interested in whether or not this is the correct action but only what the legalities are . You are in a state ...

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Thread: Castle Doctrine with Alter Ego Principle

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    Ex Member Array FN1910's Avatar
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    Castle Doctrine with Alter Ego Principle

    I am not interested in whether or not this is the correct action but only what the legalities are. You are in a state with the Castle Doctrine law including the Alter Ego principle and the following happens:

    You are in your typical convience store and notice a BG comes in to rob the clerk. You have a clear view of the action and pull your gun out.

    1. The BG has a knife to the throat to of the clerk and you fire. The BG moves just as you fire and the bullet hits the BG but goes through him and hits the clerk killing her.

    2. Same as #1 except you completely miss the BG and the clerk is killed.

    3. & 4. Same as #1 & 2 except the BG has a gun.

    5. The clerk pulls a gun but misses and kills you.

    What does the DA do in each case? How much are you actually protected by the Castle Doctrine?


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    VIP Member Array Rob72's Avatar
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    Depends entirely on the DA.

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    Senior Member Array Stirling XD's Avatar
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    Anyone that kills someone that is not threatening them is at risk for prosecution. Especially if it is foreseeable that the shot might go through the BG and hit an innocent. Much of that is up to the DA and/or jury. Regardless of who pulled the trigger, the BG is at serious risk of prosecution for homicide since he set in motion the events that led to the shooting. Unless we're shooting a really light caliber or frangibles, we should always assume that the bullet will not stop in the BG. It definitely won't stop there if we miss.

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    VIP Member Array Kerbouchard's Avatar
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    In the criminal court, the BG would be charged with murder even if you were the one who pulled the trigger.(of course, you are opening yourself up to an encounter with a over-zelous prosecutor and then who is actually liable won't matter that much while you're sitting in jail for the trial) A homicide that results during the comitting of a felony would be the result of the BG's actions and therefore he would be criminally liable. In the civil court, both you and the BG would be reaching for your checkbooks.
    YMMV
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    Ron
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    It depends upon the wording of the statute In many states the "Castle Doctrine" protects you, in terms of changing the burden of proof, only when you are protecting yourself and /or others in your home(castle). In others it also applies to an attempted carjacking of an occupied vehicle. It might also, I suppose, apply in your scenario in some states, but I am personally not familiar with any that do. I would like to hear from other members who live in states where it would apply in that senario.

    I am not sure what you mean by the "Alter Ego Principle."

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    What is the "Alter Ego" principle?

    Totally up to the DA as to what to do in each case. They will examine the evidence and the statutes of your state to determine what if anything will be done.

    As for number five you are lying there dead with a gun in your hand. Clerk didn't miss the BG he shot the other BG who was bringing a gun to bear on him. Clear cut self defense in his mind.

    So you can see how each of the cases could be twisted by testimony and evidence which may or may not result in criminal charges. Like a LEO friend of mine says. Once a gun is fired a crime has occurred. Who committed it will be determined by the evidence and trial. Not saying that it will always work out for the best for who we may perceive is the GG, but someone is getting charged with something.
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    VIP Member Array friesepferd's Avatar
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    in many states if anyone is killed while someone is committing a certain kind of crime (i forget what category, but robbery is included), than the bad guy is charged with the crime. i remember a story not to long ago of a cop that died in a car accident on the way to a robbery and the bad guy got charged- not sure if convicted. that is an extreme case, but i would say that law was made for the purpose of the question posed. in states that have this law, im quite sure the bad guy would be found guilty

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    VIP Member Array Kerbouchard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by friesepferd View Post
    ...in states that have this law, im quite sure the bad guy would be found guilty
    While this is true for criminal court, you would still lose the civil trial.
    Always know what's behind your target, and I would say taking the shot in the situation presented would be hard to justify. The only way I would ever take that shot is if I knew they guy was going to kill the clerk if I didn't stop him, and if I forgot my Crystal Ball at home, then I would probably wait for a better shot. Hopefully the BG wouldn't even know I have a gun until I had a clear shot.

    based on the original post, the question about the legalities of it alone cannot be answered. Most states have a clause in them that say something to the effect of 'a reasonable person would have taken those actions or a reasonable person would not define that action as reckless' This is why your question is imposible to answer. A reckless shot that results in the loss of life of a bystander even if you had the best of intentions is still a reckless shot. That would make you criminally liable. If a reasonable person would have acted the same as you, then you aren't criminally liable. And like I said above, you would still lose the civil suit.
    Last edited by Kerbouchard; January 2nd, 2008 at 02:18 PM. Reason: re-read the original post so added the last paragraph
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    The Alter Ego principle is where in this case the clerk is threatened but her threat is transfered to you. In other words if she is protecting herself and you try to aid here then any justifications that she has also applies to you. Under this principle you "put yourself in their shoes" and may act as if you are the one being threatened. SC has this principle that even if you are not the homeowner or driver of a car and they are attacked you have the same rights as long as you meet the three standard requirements of the Castle Doctrine. It does make a differerence and is why I included it.

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    Senior Member Array cwblanco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FN1910 View Post
    I am not interested in whether or not this is the correct action but only what the legalities are. You are in a state with the Castle Doctrine law including the Alter Ego principle and the following happens:

    You are in your typical convience store and notice a BG comes in to rob the clerk. You have a clear view of the action and pull your gun out.

    1. The BG has a knife to the throat to of the clerk and you fire. The BG moves just as you fire and the bullet hits the BG but goes through him and hits the clerk killing her.

    2. Same as #1 except you completely miss the BG and the clerk is killed.

    3. & 4. Same as #1 & 2 except the BG has a gun.

    5. The clerk pulls a gun but misses and kills you.

    What does the DA do in each case? How much are you actually protected by the Castle Doctrine?
    I am confused as to how the castle doctrine and the alter ego doctrine come into play in the scenario's that you have presented. In any event, under the facts presented, I do not see how the castle doctrine will change the law that previously existed in almost all jurisdictions in the U.S. For one thing the castle doctrine has eliminated the requirement for a person to retreat in lieu of using deadly force. However, it appears that the clerk has no opportunity to retreat.

    First, the bad guy will be charged with murder of any other person who was killed in the incident.

    Second, it probably is irrelevant whether the bad guy was using a knife or a pistol, because both will be considered deadly weapons. However, the difference might have a bearing on the determination of reasonableness of the conduct of the good guy/bad shot.

    Third, as to the good guy/bad shot, defense of a third person is a permissible defense.

    Fourth, the term "reasonable" will be considered in both civil and criminal proceedings against the good guy/bad shot. Was the conduct reasonable under the circumstances, that is, was the resulting death merely an unfortunate consequence.

    Fifth, in a civil case, "accident" (whether included in the jury instructions or by a jury question) will be a defense.

    Sixth, what a DA does will depend upon his attitude toward the facts and whether the conduct of the good guy/bad shot comes across as extremely outrageous and wanton. If he does not feel confident that he can obtain a conviction from a jury, frequently there will be no indictment.

    Sixth, "alter ego" is a doctrine frequently applied to pierce the corporate veil of an entity to impose liability on an owner in incidences such as where the owner is using the corporate shield to perpetrate a fraud. It does not seem to have any relevance based upon the facts you have presented. If the owner was a part of the plan to rob his own facility, then he may be liabile both crimminally and civilly as an accomplice, and there is no need for application of any alter ego law.

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    Member Array jarhead45's Avatar
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    sounds a little complicated. I think its up to the local DA, liberal or conservative as he may be.
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    Senior Member Array Shizzlemah's Avatar
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    It's never "up to the DA", the laws are the laws. DA can choose which to prosecute.

    Castle has no presence. Alter-Ego is something I have never heard of but is premitted in most states.

    Regardless of situations 1-4, the BG caused a threat and in many states the BG would face the responsibility for whomever's fatality.

    Accident is a defense in somes states. In *MANY* states the only way you can claim defense is to first admidt to the action... So if the defesnse doesn't work you have just hung yorself out to dry.


    Still not sure if this was a real question or if I fell for the troll.

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    Ex Member Array FN1910's Avatar
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    The question is simply if you fire at a BG that robbing a store and hit and innocent bystander what if any charges can be brought against you, both criminal or civil. The Castle Doctrine includes any place that you have a right to be and the Alter-Ego says that you have the same rights as a person being threatened. Take it as this, if you are beiing robbed and try to shoot the robber but miss and hit someone else are you liable in any way?

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    Senior Member Array Shizzlemah's Avatar
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    COULD be brought?

    Criminal could be murder, manslaughter, ADW, negligent discharge, etc. In some states, these charges will all be filed against the BG who started the event. In many states, it is on you.

    Civil - some states have 'good sam' laws preventing you being held liable if acting in good fath. some states have caps on the max judgement for wrongful death ($100k here). Survivable injury or diability is typically uncapped, how many zeros can their lawyer dream up ?!

    Although this will vary in every state.

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    Senior Member Array cwblanco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FN1910 View Post
    The question is simply if you fire at a BG that robbing a store and hit and innocent bystander what if any charges can be brought against you, both criminal or civil. The Castle Doctrine includes any place that you have a right to be and the Alter-Ego says that you have the same rights as a person being threatened. Take it as this, if you are beiing robbed and try to shoot the robber but miss and hit someone else are you liable in any way?
    Here are some applicable Texas statutes:

    PC 9.05. RECKLESS INJURY OF INNOCENT THIRD PERSON.
    Even though an actor is justified under this chapter in threatening or using force or deadly force against another, if in doing so he also recklessly injures or kills an innocent third person, the justification afforded by this chapter is unavailable in a prosecution for the reckless injury or killing of the innocent third person.

    PC 9.06. CIVIL REMEDIES UNAFFECTED, The fact that conduct is justified under this chapter does not abolish or impair any remedy for the conduct that is available in a civil suit.
    =======
    You state that "The Castle Doctrine includes any place that you have a right to be." Texas does not apply such a broad definition (home, vehicle, or place of business). Actually the new castle law did not change the common law and case law interpretations except in the area of a duty to retreat. I am uncertain as to how far other states carry the doctrine. As to alter ego -- Your definition varies greatly from everything I have read in that regard. Also, it seems that no one else on this site is familiar with that term in the context that you use it. In Texas this phrase appears in the business entity statutes. Perhaps you could give us a cite where we can see what you are talking about.

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