Aggressive Criminal

Was it actually assault or an act of self-defense?

On Behalf of | Criminal Defense |

Assault is a violent criminal offense in Texas. State prosecutors could bring charges against someone involved in an altercation with another person. An assault conviction could lead to numerous criminal penalties imposed by a judge. People also have to live with a criminal record that may affect their opportunities in life.

Someone who has been accused of assault may have several different defense options available to them. People may sometimes have an alibi that can establish they were not the person involved in a fistfight despite meeting a physical description. Other times, there are questions about the validity of the evidence or the reliability of the witnesses.

Some people raise an affirmative defense to assault claims. They do not deny their involvement but insist their actions were technically legal based on Texas law. Someone might be able to convince the courts that they acted with the intention of protecting themselves rather than a desire to harm another party.

Texas values the right of self-protection

In theory, people throughout the United States have the right to defend themselves against crime, as ensuring personal safety is a basic natural right. Texas law allows people to use physical force to protect themselves from a situation that they believe poses an imminent risk of harm. They can also use physical force to protect against property crimes ranging from carjackings to home invasions. Texas even allows people to act for the protection of other parties, such as family members, neighbors or store clerks at risk during a robbery.

How Texas limits self-defense claims

People need to use a reasonable degree of force given the level of threat they encounter. Unlike many states, Texas does not require that people attempt to retreat or leave a dangerous situation before engaging in self-defense. Still, the law does limit self-defense claims when people break the law or instigate a situation. If there is proof that someone was trespassing or if they threw the first punch, then they may not be able to assert that they acted in self-defense.

A careful review of the state’s evidence with the assistance of a skilled criminal defense attorney can help people determine if claiming they acted in self-defense is the right response to a pending assault charge. As such, learning more about state statutes and defense strategies can benefit those accused of a violent crime in Texas.