When a Trespasser Commits a Party Foul… | Texas

The following is a video transcript.

What do you do when an unruly party guest gets out of hand? Of course you can kick them out, but what if they won’t leave? What about someone who shows up on your property uninvited?

These people are trespassers, and Texas law protects your property rights by allowing you to decide who is and is not allowed on your property. Let’s discuss who might become trespassers and what you can do legally to eject them.


You may eject an unwanted person from your property even if they were previously an invited guest. Once you give the unruly friend or extended family member notice that they are no longer welcome and they refuse to leave, the person becomes a trespasser. You may then use force, but not deadly force, to remove the individual from your property. On most occasions, this use of force will take the form of physically escorting or removing the individual.


Uninvited guests can range from someone completely innocent, like a neighborhood kid retrieving a ball from your yard, to someone a bit more sinister, like someone sneaking around your land at night or an unknown vehicle pulling up your driveway. Even when the situation looks sinister, so long as the person is not committing or attempting to commit any offense outside of their simple trespass, you may still only use force to remove them. In Texas, the continuum of force starts with verbal commands, continues with physical force against another, and may even include drawing your firearm. Keep in mind that the force you use against the trespasser must be that which an ordinary and prudent man would consider reasonable. There are situations in which drawing your firearm may be a reasonable use of force, but evaluate your situation carefully. Pointing your gun at a high schooler taking a shortcut through your property, or at the electric company’s meter reader may ultimately get you into legal hot water. Once you pull the trigger though, even as a “warning shot,” you have crossed the line into deadly force and may be arrested, charged, and convicted for that act.


No. This person is no longer a mere trespasser, and you can use the Castle Doctrine and personal protection deadly force laws. You are no longer protecting just your property; you are now protecting yourself or family.

A mere trespasser can quickly become a more dangerous threat, so it is crucial you understand the laws in your state. If you have any questions about this issue, contact Texas LawShield and ask to speak to your Independent Program Attorney.

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Comment section

9 comments on “When a Trespasser Commits a Party Foul… | Texas

  1. I have an outside wall that encompasses my entire front yard. I recently observed three young males coming over my wall, and I shouted at them and showed them my firearm. They retreated. Did I over-react?

  2. What if you catch someone in your yard breaking into your car or stealing the wheels? Can you shoot? Because I’m sick of thieves and have no mercy

  3. I absolutely love being a member of the Law Shield, this type of information is so educational and serves as a constant reminder of things we can quickly forget. Thank you US Law Shield.

  4. Just wondering, lets say you’re renting a room in a house and another renter of that house comes into your room and after telling them to leave they refuse. Do you have the right to forcefully remove them from your room?

  5. What if you tell a house guest that’s been staying the weekends at your residence to not enter your home. The said “guest” has no key, no lease, and has their on house.

    Is this guest now considered a trespasser?

  6. My parents have a Pond in our back yard that is being shared by multiple neighbors but one particular neighbor believes the pond is “his property” even after showing him that they own part of the pond and which part. Here recently he has has been using his small boat at night to come toward my parents side of the property. He is not night fishing from what we can tell and we are talking about almost 11 pm at night doing something on our side. I have asked him kindly to leave our side alone the next morning. How would go about this situation should he continue to do this? Isn’t it still consider trespassing? Seeing that I (the daughter) have noticed this here recently since staying with my parents. It concerns me because I have children and my dad carries.

  7. And if I try to forcibly remove them and they win they get to not only stay in my house buh use my firearm against me. Crazy how you can have a gun but can’t use lethal force if someone tries to hurt you in you’re own home ha. Hope they get the memo that lethal force is illegal. They chose to resist leaving my home that’s them choosing to risk there life I shouldn’t have to risk being disarmed and my life IN MY HOME. living 25+ yrs in a box or buried 6ft in a box. Decisions decisions

  8. Does this include your driveway? I understand people who are turning around have that legal right. I also understand that if there is suspicion of a crime or a criminal act suspected, police can enter your driveway. However, what if someone is walking into your driveway on foot and is taking pictures of your open garage? I know that you cannot use deadly force, but is this trespassing?

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