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When is self-defense justified in Texas?

On Behalf of | Feb 24, 2022 | Criminal Defense |

Many people in Texas are accused of various crimes. Being accused of a crime can be a scary time as people may not know what will happen to them and the consequences they may face as a result. However, it is important to know that people are not always guilty of the crime they are accused of committing. There may be potential defenses that people may have that can help them avoid a conviction and the harsh consequences that can result from them.

The defense people use depends on the crime allegedly committed as well as the circumstances leading to the arrest. However, one common defense for an assault is that people were acting in self-defense at the time of the alleged assault. This is not a defense in every situation and in order for it to be a valid defense, certain requirements must be met.

Requirements for a valid self-defense claim

People may use force against another if they reasonably believe that another person will harm them and the harm is imminent. There is no duty to retreat from the threat before using force. The force used must be only the force necessary to protect themselves from the alleged harm.

It is also presumed the force used is in in self-defense if the aggressors are unlawfully forcing themselves inside people’s homes, vehicles or places of employment and that they did not provoke the aggressor prior to using force against them. They also cannot be committing a crime at the time of the attack either.

If one provoked the people who attack them or use physical force to respond to only verbal threats, there is a presumption that they cannot use self-defense to justify the assault.

This is a defense that the defendant must prove though. They must be able to show that all the elements are present for there to be a valid self-defense claim. One of the keys to a self-defense claim is that the force they used is reasonable and proportional to the threat they are facing.

People who convicted of assaults in Texas can face serious consequences. That is why it is important for people who were acting in self-defense assert the defense correctly and potentially avoid a conviction. Experienced attorneys understand when people are acting in self-defense under the law and may be able to help protect people’s rights.



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