What Is Self-Defense in Texas?
Self-defense is the use of force or threat of force to protect oneself or others from imminent harm. In Texas, a person is generally allowed to use force in self-defense if they reasonably believe that the use of force is necessary to prevent serious bodily injury or death to themselves or someone else.
There are two types of self-defense in Texas:
- Deadly force: Deadly force is the use of force that is likely to cause death or serious bodily injury. Deadly force is only allowed in self-defense if the person reasonably believes that they are facing an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury.
- Non-deadly force: Non-deadly force is the use of force that is not likely to cause death or serious bodily injury. Non-deadly force is allowed in self-defense if the person reasonably believes that the use of force is necessary to prevent or stop an assault or other unlawful interference with their person or property.
When Can You Use Self-Defense in Texas?
You can use self-defense in Texas if you are facing an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury. This could include situations where someone is trying to harm you or someone else with a weapon, or where someone is trying to restrain you or kidnap you.
You do not have to wait until you are actually attacked before you can use self-defense. If you reasonably believe that you are about to be attacked, you can use self-defense to protect yourself.
How Much Force Can You Use in Self-Defense in Texas?
The amount of force that you can use in self-defense is limited to what is necessary to stop the threat. This means that if you can stop the threat by using a non-deadly force option such as pushing or restraining the person, you cannot use a more extreme non-deadly force option such as punching or kicking them.
Similarly, you can only use a more extreme non-deadly force option if you are facing a threat of serious bodily injury, even if you can stop the threat with a less extreme non-deadly force option.
You can only use a lethal force option if you are facing an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury and you cannot stop the threat with a non-deadly force option.
What Are the Legal Consequences of Using Self-Defense in Texas?
If you use self-defense in Texas, you may be charged with a crime. However, if you can prove that you acted in self-defense, you will likely be acquitted.
To prove self-defense, you will need to show that:
- You were facing an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury.
- You reasonably believed that you were using the amount of force necessary to stop the threat.
- You did not use excessive force.
What Should You Do If You Are Charged with a Crime After Using Self-Defense in Texas?
If you are charged with a crime after using self-defense in Texas, you should contact a criminal defense attorney immediately. A criminal defense attorney can help you to build a strong defense case and can help you to get the charges against you dropped or reduced.