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Hello Everyone.

I am relatively new to posting but has been on the site for a while and I tried to do a detailed search but couldn't really find what I was looking for.

I live in TX and wanted to know at what point do you defend yourself in a road rage scenario? If someone approaches your car there are some obvious things to do/not do. Keep windows up , don't get out of your car, try to leave the scene, don't escalate the situation by retaliating/provoking. So if you can't escape in your vehicle and the bad guy tries to break window and is relentless to get to you... is that grounds to use deadly force?

Thanks for the input.

RS
 

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So if you can't escape in your vehicle and the bad guy tries to break window and is relentless to get to you... is that grounds to use deadly force?
I would say yes, this would be considered an imminent thread of serious bodily harm or worse. You are right in your other assumptions, too. Do not provoke or be a party in the escalation of such an encounter. Try to get away in any way you can, as long as you can do this safely. Drive to a police station, fire station, or a highly populated place, if you can. If the encounter has really taken a turn for the worse and you believe you are in serious danger, use whatever means are available to you to stop the attack. Run over the assailant or use your sidearm if you must to stop the attack.

And while this is all going on, try to call 911 and keep them on the line. Your call will be recorded and could very well be your saving grace if you have to go to court (criminal or civil).
 

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Is it an 80-something-year-old man using his cane, or a crack-head with a cinder block?

Just one of many possible examples of "it depends".
 

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I’m going to do everything that the subject “ permits” me to do, before I am going to take a human life.

If that means exiting and running running away from the scene by exiting the other side of the vehicle, and calling 911, I will do it.

.....if I can do it without putting myself in imminent danger of death or serious bodily harm, or my passengers.

A call to the insurance company is a lot easier and cheaper than hiring an attorney, and having to deal with the very real emotional trauma and social stigma that comes with taking deadly force action; and that’s not even talking about the effects that possible legal actions could bring if a factor.

My rule of thumb, is swallow my pride and walk or run if possible.

Ultimately, the aggressor gets to decide how far he pushes or threatens.
 

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It is going to depend upon your state’s laws and the circumstances. Based upon the scenario of the OP in PA you have the right to defend yourself with deadly force. PA has a Castle Doctrine which amounts to a limited stand-your-ground statute. Below I have posted the basis of that law and in the last part I have underlined the fact that the law applies to your vehicle.

The General Assembly finds that:
(1) It is proper for law-abiding people to protect
themselves, their families and others from intruders and
attackers without fear of prosecution or civil action for
acting in defense of themselves and others.
(2) The Castle Doctrine is a common law doctrine of
ancient origins which declares that a home is a person’s
castle.
(3) Section 21 of Article I of the Constitution of
Pennsylvania guarantees that the “right of the citizens to
bear arms in defense of themselves and the State shall not be
questioned.”
(4) Persons residing in or visiting this Commonwealth
have a right to expect to remain unmolested within their
homes or vehicles.

(5) No person should be required to surrender his or her
personal safety to a criminal, nor should a person be
required to needlessly retreat in the face of intrusion or
attack outside the person’s home or vehicle
.
Check your state law.
 

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I’m going to do everything that the subject “ permits” me to do, before I am going to take a human life.

If that means exiting and running running away from the scene by exiting the other side of the vehicle, and calling 911, I will do it.

.....if I can do it without putting myself in imminent danger of death or serious bodily harm, or my passengers.

A call to the insurance company is a lot easier and cheaper than hiring an attorney, and having to deal with the very real emotional trauma and social stigma that comes with taking deadly force action; and that’s not even talking about the effects that possible legal actions could bring if a factor.

My rule of thumb, is swallow my pride and walk or run if possible.

Ultimately, the aggressor gets to decide how far he pushes or threatens.
If retreating is an option, I'm all for it, even when not required by law.
 

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Here's the Texas law about that:
Sec. 9.32. DEADLY FORCE IN DEFENSE OF PERSON.
(a) A person is justified in using deadly force against another:
(1) if the actor would be justified in using force against the other under Section 9.31;
and
(2) when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the deadly force is immediately necessary:
(A) to protect the actor against the other's use or attempted use of unlawful deadly force;
or
(B) to prevent the other's imminent commission of aggravated kidnapping, murder, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, robbery, or aggravated robbery.
(b) The actor's belief under Subsection (a)(2) that the deadly force was immediately necessary as described by that subdivision is presumed to be reasonable if the actor:
(1) knew or had reason to believe that the person against whom the deadly force was used:
(A) unlawfully and with force entered, or was attempting to enter unlawfully and with force, the actor's occupied habitation, vehicle, or place of business or employment;
Hope that helps.
 

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In Texas deadly force is allowed to defend against deadly force. There are variables involving night time, property, kidnapping, and family, as well as one's vehicle, but the law is very clear on when deadly force can be used. Anything justifying less than deadly force is 'force against force'. And, as other's have mentioned, a retreating option is also part of the equation. And a deadly force against force scenario will get you a fast pass to Hunstville.
It's probably a good idea, in the OP's case, to read the Texas penal code.

But if someone is beating on your car window and you use deadly force to stop it, you'll probably end up with a murder charge against you, despite whatever actions led up to the use of deadly force. Now, if he broke the glass and reached in and started bludgeoning you with some type of weaponized item, then you are justified.

BTW: That very scenario was one of the first challenged LTC cases in Texas back in the '90s and the shooter was no billed by the Dallas DA; Man pulls to a stop at a busy intersection after exiting the freeway. Bad actor rushes the vehicle and begins beating on the driver's window, breaks glass, and viciously assaults the driver with a weaponized object. The driver pulls his licensed EDC and shoots assailant, killing him. No charges filed against the driver.

If that driver had shot the guy while he was beating on the window, even if he had broken the window, but had nothing in his hands that could be used as a weapon, the driver would have likely been charged with murder.
 

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If retreating is an option, I'm all for it, even when not required by law.
We are not a duty to retreat state. However with that said, I believe prudence and common sense should prevail in certain situations. If I can remove myself safely from a situation that is quickly escalating into something bad, that is what I am going to do if at all possble. The gunfight you never have is the one you will always win. Let those who would do stupid things pay the price for their stupidity. I'm not about to play Matt Dillon on Gunsmoke if I don't have to.
 

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Shooting someone is a VERY LAST RESORT. But, if you absolutely need to shoot, then shoot.......
 

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One thing I learned about dealing with road rage from others is that if it looks like a serious situation contact the police right away and be the first one to report it. There have been cases where the person or people instigating a road rage incident went ahead and reported to the police that the other person started it especially if you brandish a weapon in defense then they will report that you are threatening them with it. The police will come out and apprehend you rather then the others since they will assume you started the incident since a report came in first from them.
 

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We are not a duty to retreat state. However with that said, I believe prudence and common sense should prevail in certain situations. If I can remove myself safely from a situation that is quickly escalating into something bad, that is what I am going to do if at all possble. The gunfight you never have is the one you will always win. Let those who would do stupid things pay the price for their stupidity. I'm not about to play Matt Dillon on Gunsmoke if I don't have to.
We aren't in disagreement. As long as one remains within the vehicle, Ohio isn't duty to retreat, either.
 

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At the risk of sounding like a broken record, it depends.

IF you are completely blameless in a road rage incident and there are credible witnesses to that effect, AND given the situation as you described it exactly, using deadly force would PROBABLY be justified. A great deal depends on a lot of factors that should have no place in a question of self defense. I think you understand what I mean. Where the event occurs is also an issue. The public is probably going to weigh in - either for, or usually against, you.

Generally speaking, using deadly force outside your home against a person who has used a recognized form of deadly force against you, is justified. If you did anything to aggravate the circumstances, no.

Since the incident in question, as you describe it, sounds as if it has already happened, call it a day and give thanks that you get to go home. And please understand, I am not a lawyer. (That the good Lord!)

You can call the non-emergency number and request a police officer, or supervisor, to meet with you and advise you of your rights as seen through the eyes of those who would handle such a call. That would give you a much better idea of how such an event would go down.

EDIT And a final note. Being on the phone with 911 DURING such an event (even if only having the speakerphone on) will contribute greatly in determining the outcome as that call is recorded. Many of us are considering a dashcam, which is even more effective.
 

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Other than what Michael1956 brought up, I would say that some psyco tries to break a window to get to me (drivers side window or drivers side windshield) and has the means to do it (bat, wrench, rock, etc.), and I can't drive away/escape for some reason, time to draw. If he or she does not back away, time for some center of mass shots. Generally speaking. Basics are someone is a threat, demonstrate your ability to deal with said threat. If they progress in an attack, shoot. Duty to submit to violent criminal states? YMMV.
 

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When you know you're going to need to change your shorts scared?

So many variables, so little knowledge and the bad guys know it.

Seriously take self-defense training (reputable trainers) and maybe some continuing education courses.
 

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BE THE FIRST TO CALL 911.

In many documented cases the police invariably believed the first call received from 911. Functionally what that means is that in the end it took weeks/months for some law abiding citizens to clear their good name because some scumbag called 911 and alleged that they were the aggressor and that the poor caller was a victim.
 
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