When Can Security Guards Legally Use Force in Texas?

February 24, 2024

Use of Force by Security Guards

You’re walking through the mall late one night when you notice a security guard get physical with a shopper. Was that necessary? When are security guards legally allowed to use force in Texas?

As a Texan, it’s important to understand what authority and limitations private security personnel have when it comes to detaining individuals or to use force. This article will break down the laws regarding a security guard’s permitted case to use force so you can better understand what is and isn’t allowed.

We’ll also discuss examples of justified versus when they excessively use force and what recourse is available if you believe a security guard went too far. Let’s dive in and unpack when security guards can legally use force in the Lone Star State.

Understanding Use of Force Laws for Security Guards in Texas

What is justified use of force?

As a security guard, you can only use force when necessary to protect people or property. This means using the minimum amount of force required to address the situation. Excessive or unjustified use of force is illegal.

When is use of force justified?

You can use force to stop a crime in progress, make an arrest, or defend yourself or others against harm. For example, you may use force to stop an assault, prevent theft or vandalism, or detain someone who is attempting to flee from the police. You can also use force in self-defense if you have a reasonable belief that you or another person is in imminent danger of harm.

What types of force are allowed?

The types of force allowed depend on the circumstances, but may include physically restraining or detaining individuals, using defensive techniques like blocking punches, or in extreme cases using weapons like batons or stun guns. Lethal force, such as with a firearm, should only be used when you reasonably believe it is necessary to prevent imminent death or serious bodily harm.

Understanding when and how security guards can legally use force is critical. Following the law and your company’s use of force policy will help ensure you handle situations properly and avoid civil or criminal liability. But whenever possible, try to de-escalate confrontations through respect, empathy and diplomacy before resorting to force.

Examples of Situations Where To Use Force May Be Justified

As a security guard, there are certain situations where you may need to use reasonable force to protect people or property. For instance, if you witness an assault or battery taking place, you have the right to intervene and subdue the perpetrator using the minimum amount of force necessary.

You may also use force if you are attempting to make an arrest or prevent escape. If a suspect resists or flees, you are authorized to use reasonable force to apprehend them. However, you must stop using force once the suspect has been restrained. Continuing to apply force after they have been subdued could be considered excessive.

Deadly force is only justified in circumstances where you reasonably believe that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or serious bodily harm to yourself or others. For example, if an armed intruder threatens you or bystanders with a firearm or other deadly weapon, you may use deadly force to neutralize the threat.

In any situation, you must use the minimum amount of force that is reasonably necessary to mitigate the threat, protect safety, or make an arrest. Excessive use of force can result in criminal charges, lawsuits, and damage to AAA’s reputation. Your role is to defuse tensions and protect people, not escalate violence.

Use of Force FAQs: Answering Common Questions About Security Guard Authority

What constitutes excessive use of force?

As a security guard, you have the authority to use force, but only when necessary and reasonable. Excessive force refers to using more force than needed to handle a situation. For example, using a baton on someone who is not resisting or threatening violence could be seen as excessive. The key is using force that is proportional to the threat.

Can I detain someone who commits a crime?

Yes, as a security guard you have the authority to detain someone who has committed a crime until police arrive. However, you must witness the crime or have probable cause to believe the person committed a crime. You can only detain them for a reasonable amount of time. Excessively detaining someone could lead to unlawful imprisonment charges.

What weapons can I carry?

The weapons a security guard can carry depends on their license and certification. Typically, security guards can carry defensive weapons like batons, mace, and stun guns. However, firearms require additional training and licensing. As a security guard, you can only use weapons defensively and reasonably, not offensively.

How should I handle intoxicated or belligerent people?

Intoxicated or belligerent people can be difficult to handle. Remain calm and polite, do not argue or escalate the situation. Ask the person to leave the area or call for police assistance if they refuse or become violent. You may need to threaten to detain them to get them to comply, but only use the minimum amount of force necessary for the situation. The key is staying professional, not taking the bait, and avoiding excessive force.

Contact AAA Security Guard Services Today!

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With over 20 years of experience providing security services in Texas, AAA Security Guard Services is the trusted choice. Our highly trained officers uphold the highest standards of professionalism and ethics. We understand the unique security challenges across Texas and have the expertise to develop tailored solutions for any need.

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From armed security guards and mobile patrols to security consulting and risk assessment, we offer a full range of services. Use our armed officers for asset protection, or unarmed officers to monitor access control points. Our mobile patrols provide regular monitoring of properties during non-business hours. Let our team evaluate your security risks and needs to determine the optimal solutions.

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At AAA Security Guard Services, we are dedicated to delivering outstanding service and value to our clients. Our officers complete ongoing training to provide the best protection and deterrence. We conduct rigorous background checks and closely supervise officers to ensure compliance with licensing requirements and best practices. You can trust that our officers will protect your people and property with vigilance, care and respect at all times.

Contact Us Today

For a free consultation about your security needs and to learn how we can protect your business, contact AAA Security Guard Services today. Our team of experts will evaluate your unique requirements and design a comprehensive security solution tailored to you. We look forward to serving you!

Telephone: +1 817-677-8803
Email: info@aaaguards.com
Website: aaaguards.com

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