Are you being accused of
assault or aggravated assault? Or, are you under investigation for
murder? If so, we understand that you may have had a very good reason for using
force, especially if that force was necessary to defend yourself or even
As criminal defense attorneys who regularly defend individuals accused
of family violence and assaultive offenses, we are well-aware that it
“takes two” to get into a fight. Often, our client was initially
the one being assaulted, but they fought back and ended up facing criminal charges.
If you are in this situation, you need to ensure that your side of the
story is heard loud and clear.
If there were no witnesses or if there isn’t any video footage documenting
the incident, it’s going to be your word against the alleged victim’s,
and you need an experienced defense lawyer to put the puzzle pieces together.
What if you were defending yourself, can you claim
self-defense? This is a very good question – continue reading to learn more about
claiming self-defense in Texas.
Claiming ‘Self-Defense’ Under Texas Law
Yes, it is
possible to claim self-defense if you’re being charged with a violent crime,
such as aggravated assault or manslaughter. Self-defense is covered under
Section 9.31 of the
Texas Penal Code.
Under Sec. 9.31(a), people are justified in using force against another
person if they reasonably believe that they must use force to protect
themselves against the other person’s attempt or use of unlawful force.
It is reasonable for you to defend yourself if you knew or had reason to
believe that the other person whom you used force against:
- Attempted to or entered into your home, vehicle, business, or place of
employment with force,
- Unlawfully and with force, attempted to or removed you from any of the
- Was attempting to or committed robbery or aggravated robbery, sexual assault
or aggravated sexual assault, kidnaping, or murder, and
- You did not provoke the individual whom you used force against.
When You Can’t Claim Self-Defense
Just because you were involved in an altercation, it does not mean that
you can always claim self-defense.
Under Sec. 9.31(b), you cannot claim self-defense when: 1) you were responding
to a verbal altercation alone, 2) you are resisting arrest, 3) when you
consented to the force, or 4) when you provoked the other person.
Under Sec. 9.32, a person is justified in using deadly force against another
in several scenarios, for example, to protect oneself against another’s
use of deadly force, or to prevent a kidnapping, robbery, or sexual assault.
If you acted in self-defense and now you’re facing criminal charges,
don’t hesitate to
contact The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC for a confidential consultation!