Under Texas state law, everyone has the right to defend themselves or others against the imminent use of force or violence. However, what if you fought back against a perceived threat, but law enforcement arrived and arrested you for assault? While you may assume that explaining the situation to the arresting officers is the best way to “clear things up,” anything you say could be used against you later on. Instead, try to remain calm and contact a skilled criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your situation. Here’s what you need to know about assault charges and self-defense in Texas.
When Self-Defense is Justified
Under Title 2, Section 9.31 of the Texas Penal Code, “a person is justified in using force against another when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to protect the actor against the other’s use or attempted use of unlawful force.” For instance, if you fought back against an intruder who had unlawfully gained entry to your property, your actions could be considered self-defense. Other times when self-defense may be warranted include protecting yourself or someone else from an aggravated kidnapping, murder, or robbery attempt. However, you must not have provoked the attacker for your actions to be considered self-defense.
Making the Case for Self-Defense
Unfortunately, many incidents of self-defense can be trickier to prove. Perhaps the other party verbally provoked you, causing you to respond physically. If you cause this individual physical harm, you could face assault charges. The bulk of your legal defense strategy relies on demonstrating that you had reason to believe you (or a third party) was in imminent physical danger and that you responded proportionately. If you are facing assault charges, rest assured that you’ll have the chance to show you acted in self-defense when the case moves to court.
Talk to a Trusted Pearland Criminal Defense Lawyer Right Away
Being placed under arrest is often a disorienting and concerning event. As soon as you can, contact a trusted criminal defense attorney who can help you understand what steps to take to protect your rights. Together, you’ll craft the best legal strategy to demonstrate that you acted in self-defense, which was your right as a Texas citizen. The sooner you contact your attorney, the more time you’ll have to build a successful case to keep your future as bright as possible.
If you are facing assault charges in the Houston, Pearland, or Brazoria County area, contact the Law Offices of Keith G. Allen, PLLC, today at (832) 230-0075 to arrange a free consultation with a skilled criminal defense attorney.